If you’re looking to buy or rent a new house, you’ll have to do lots of viewing a house. Unfortunately, it can often be hard to remember all the things you need to look out for, as viewings can sometimes be a bit short (and a bit awkward!), especially considering this is somewhere you could be living for many years to come.
But there’s nothing worse than moving into a house… and realising it’s riddled with problems. That’s why, when looking around a house for the first time, you must look out for common issues that sometimes can be hard to spot.
Damp can cause you some real issues down the line. It makes the walls weaker and infects the air quality in your house. Not to mention it just looks pretty gross.
When looking out for dampness, here are the signs you might notice:
- Mouldy smell
- Flaky plaster
- Watermarked ceilings or walls
Sometimes property owners can be a bit cheeky and cover these areas up, so make sure to look behind things to find these signs.
You want a structurally sound building, so look out for big cracks in the walls or ceiling. It’s okay if there are some small hairline cracks – these are very common – but big cracks should be a worry. In particular, check for big cracks around where extensions have been joined onto the building and bay windows – anything that could easily separate from the house. That’s not a problem you want to deal with later down the line.
Check the windows
Windows can have lots of problems with them, and these problems can negatively affect your life in a significant way. First, check for flaky paint around the windows – this will suggest the window gets quite cold, meaning the room won’t be good at retaining heat in the winter.
Then, check if the double glazing is intact (you can do this by noticing if there is condensation in the middle. If there is, the double glazing is broken) – or if there’s double glazing at all! This is essential for having a warm house in the winter.
Press your finger into the wood panelling around the window. If you can push it easily into the wood, it is rotten.
Good plumbing can make all the difference in a house. Calling out a local plumber all the time is going to start getting expensive. For this reason, while you’re viewing a house, run all the taps to check the water pressure in the house. You can also ask about what types of pipes are installed, and if they are lead pipes.
Check where the radiators are in the house. If they are in bad places, you might struggle in the winter with a cold house.
Ask how old the boiler is, and where it is housed. If it’s in the attic, it is probably quite old, and might need replacing during your ownership of the house. This doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, but if you don’t want to deal with that cost, maybe check out a different house.