Buying a house is one of the most significant investments that you will make in your life. It’s undoubtedly an exciting time, but it can also be overwhelming, especially for first-time buyers. One of the main worries for many people is buying a home that needs a lot of work you didn’t budget for and being unable to get this work completed. While using an independent home inspector can enlighten you about any major issues, some things always slip through the cracks, or the current owners want to hide to facilitate a sale.
Read on for some issues you should keep an eye out for when looking for a new house.
Signs of dampness and mold
One of the most significant signs to look out for when buying a house is the presence of dampness and mold. Not only can they create an unpleasant smell, but they can also pose a health risk to the people living in the house. Moisture is the leading cause of mold growth, hence why it is essential to pay close attention to the condition of the windows and roof to prevent water leakage. Look for freshly painted areas that could be covering up signs of mold, strategically laced furniture, or a musty smell. These could all be indicators that there is a damp problem. However, if you notice these signs anywhere in the house, then you should look at what is involved with mold remediation to help you resolve the issue.
When buying a house, it’s essential to pay attention to the state of the roof. Missing slates, tiles, or even guttering and loose flashing will all indicate signs of damage to the roof, meaning you could find further damage internally. Your roof needs replacing approximately every 20-25 years, depending on the structure, quality of the work, and the materials used for the roof. The age of the house can be a good identifier as to the likelihood it will need repairs or replacement.
To look for roof damage internally, feel for drafts in upper floors, signs of dampness on walls, or loud noises from above.
Faulty electrics can put homeowners at risk of high repair bills or, even worse, fire hazards. This is why it’s vital to have a thorough electrical safety check done by a professional to ensure the wiring is grounded and in good working condition. While surveys do not typically inspect the state of the electrics, it is worth investing in an Electrical Installation Condition Report for peace of mind. When viewing a property, always turn some switches on and off. See what happens when you do. Any flickering lights or buzzing could indicate issues. Touch the walls and pay close attention to outlets and light switches for burning smells or heat through the walls. These could all be indicators of signs of damage to the electrical circuit, indicating you will need repairs or even a full rewire.
Leaking plumbing can lead to significant water damage and costly repairs, which is why it’s essential to inspect the property thoroughly. As buyers look for signs of dampness and mold, roof damage, and faulty electrics, it’s equally important to test out the taps and check for pooling water around the stop tap, for example. Pay attention to the main areas where water damage would likely occur, stains on ceilings, movement in floorboards, newer-looking flooring or paintwork around pipes and water-based appliances, etc. Don’t be afraid to get up close and personal and feel for signs of water damage or look closely at pipeworks and even run some taps to get a feel for the condition of the plumbing.
When buying a house, structural cracks are one of the critical things to look out for. These cracks can indicate subsidence, a very serious issue that can cause severe structural damage and impact the property’s value. It’s essential to seek professional advice if cracks wider than 25mm are present or if outside cracks are mirrored on inside walls in the same spot. The last thing you want to do is to move into a new home only to find it isn’t safe to live in.
Taking the time to thoroughly inspect the property before making an offer is crucial to avoid any potential issues down the line. By being diligent in your search and seeking professional advice when necessary, you can find a home that meets all of your needs and brings you joy for years to come.
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