Securing your ideal home is what we all aim to achieve when house hunting. However, before getting too emotionally attached to a property, it is worth running through our checklist of property warning signs to ensure you avoid purchasing a nightmare property, guaranteed to cost you more in the long run. Properties with persistent problems will not only become expensive to maintain but will be a struggle to sell in the future. It is worth spending the extra time viewing additional properties that are free of structural, condensation or flooding problems. We have compiled a list of indications you can look out for when viewing a property.
Nightmare Property Warning Signs
There are a number of major property problems to be made aware of that are likely to cost you unnecessary time, effort and money in the future. Here are several ways you can be sure you’re not about to invest in a home with any hidden surprises. If you have any queries regarding the property you are viewing, it is always advised to get in touch with your estate agent who will have expert advice on potential disaster properties.
Check the plumbing system
You can easily check the plumbing system whilst on a viewing by asking to use the toilet. Make sure the flush works effectively, and the water then drains from the sink quickly and easily. When running the hot tap, listen out for bangs in the pipes. Check both upstairs and downstairs to be sure the water pressure is adequate enough. You may also want to examine the age and condition of the boiler and immersion heater. The cost of a new boiler can be anywhere from £500 to £2,500. The average lifespan of a heating system is around 15-20 years so be sure to quiz the seller on the current system’s age.
Whilst viewing the property, it is advised to also look out for mildew, water stains or sagging floors which could indicate leakages. If there is evidence of poor plumbing or leaks, then there is likely to be additional problems with the property.
Look out for damp or rotting walls
If there are obvious signs of dampness, mould or mildew, then there is likely to be ventilation issues within the property. Look out for flaky plaster and walls and ceilings marked with water. You can also check for damp smells in cupboards and built-in wardrobes. Be extra vigilant of recently painted walls which could be an attempt to cover up damp patches.
Dampness can cause several health issues for the property’s occupants and lead to the deterioration of masonry, plaster and increase timber decay. The problem is also not always solved via a reliance on electrical moisture meters. We advise walking away from a property that displays visible signs of mould and mildew.
Examine the condition of the foundations
Substantial cracks in the walls are possible indications of issues with the structure of the property. You can expect to notice some hairline cracks, but cracks thicker than the width of a small fingernail is a huge indication of problems with the property’s foundations. If the cracks are diagonal and noticeably wider at the top than the bottom or found close to doors and windows, then it is likely the crack has been caused by subsidence. This may also be the case if you notice uneven flooring. It is worth avoiding properties that are showing visible signs of subsidence; it will cause you significant issues in the future, and you’ll be prevented from a comprehensive insurance policy.
Nevertheless, some cracks are caused by natural shrinking and swelling of the property as temperatures fluctuate. A freshly plastered home may also develop cracks as the structure settles and the plaster dries.
Take a look at the roof
A well fitted and maintained roof can last over 20 years; however, a neglected roof is unlikely to last this long. Quiz the seller regarding the age of the roof to get a feel for its current condition and how long you can expect it to last. A full property roof replacement is likely to be the most expensive repair you invest in. Check for rust, cracked tiles, visible signs of damage or leaks. Investigate for any signs of undulations in the roofline which could be an indication of structural issues with the frame. Water stains on the walls and ceilings and algae growth is a clear sign of a leaking, damaged roof. If you are in any doubt about the quality of the roof, hire a professional roofing expert to have a thorough inspection of it.
When you’re outside, you can also inspect the quality of the guttering system, looking out for holes, leaks, warps and blockages. Make sure the water can effectively drain from the property.
Take a look in the attic to check the condition of the insulation. Make sure to ask about the home insulation rating and whether the walls are insulated or not. This is an investment you may need to consider if the current insulation is not of a high standard.
The location of the property
Question the seller regarding the neighbourhood, proximity to local amenities and quality of transport links and medical facilities. It is a good idea to visit the area several times, especially at different times of the day. You may also want to consider the car parking situation and whether or not you will need a permit.
It is also suggested to ask whether there are any major future projects scheduled that could affect your lifestyle or the resale value of the property. You will also need to check whether or not the property lies within a flood zone and if the current owners have been severly affected by it. You can take a look at the Government Flood Zone Map to find out whether the property is at longterm risk of floods. The service will show the probability of flooding within that location, the possible causes of flooding and where you can seek further advice regarding flood management.
There are a number of factors worth considering and bearing in mind when you are viewing properties. Making sure to look out for these subtle indications of potential major problems can save you a considerable amount of stress and expenses in the future. If you are looking for removals in Chelsea, then get in touch with us today for a professional service and free quote. If you have found this article useful, feel free to give it a share on your social media.