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Quote Ref: UKIN01

What To Check When Viewing A House

A pipe in the wall showing What To Check When Viewing A House
27 October 2014

By UKinsuranceNET In Insurance Advice

It’s very easy to fall in love with a property once you have walked through the doors at a viewing. You begin to imagine where the furniture would go and coming home to cook a family meal after work or how someone could really make the house a home.

The last thing you want it for that dream to be shattered after you already have the keys and have signed a contract.

There are a lot of hidden things, which are very disguised but also easily missed when taking a look around a house you wish to buy, so why don’t we take a look at a few.

How long do you usually take walking around the house? You are being escorted around and get to see a room for about 10 seconds before having to look at the next one.

First of all, take your time. Think about all of your furniture, have a real walk about and get a feel for the room. Take a tape measure and be sure everything will fit just how you want it. If you feel a little uncomfortable, kindly ask the estate agent to step outside while you have a proper look.

Now, while you’re feeling a bit more relaxed, have a good look at the walls and ceilings, are there any cracks or stains?

Having big cracks in the wall doesn’t look very nice. Although they might be easily covered, they could actually mean more than that. Cracks are created in a house walls due to the movement of the build. This is perfectly normal, due to temperature and moisture change.

However, cracks can occur due to-

  • Inadequate windows.
    Cracks around window can be beginning effects of having no lintels or the wrong bearings on a window.
  • Rusted wall ties.
    Wall ties sustain the gap between the inner and outer walls of the house, without which, the wall could collapse.
  • Subsidence.
    The foundations of the house may be moving for numerous reasons.

Cracks and stains can also be a sign of damp. Damp in a house can be devastating if not treated properly and quickly, not only does it destroy your home from inside the walls, breathing in the mould caused by the wet on the walls can have bad effects on your health.

Now, don’t feel like you’re going too far by getting on your hands and knees and checking the plumbing and drains.

If you are not making these checks you could end up spending a lot more than you bargained for repairing all of the issues caused by these easy to miss problems. Check that the sinks drain quickly and without any nasty smells, make sure the water pressure is right and the toilet flushes properly.

When you finally get into the garden, make sure you take a look at what plants may have been around. Japanese Knotweed damages the walls of the house and garden and is very difficult to get rid of, check the bricks for cracks or lines where plants like Ivy could have been growing. It may have been cut back for your viewing, however these plants are notorious for finding there way back into your garden.

It is no insult to the current property owner to thoroughly check all of these things. After all, you are investing your money into this. We advise you to check for these problems so they don’t come as a bigger shock further down the line.

At UKinsuranceNET we make sure our customers have as much knowledge as they need to ensure they are getting the best from their insurers. For more articles like What to Check When Viewing a House, follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more advice and tips on home owning.

If you’re interested in controlling those energy prices, you may want to take a look at our Quick Guide to Energy Performance Certificates

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