A new home is a significant investment therefore it’s important to know any indications of trouble before you part with your money This is where our house viewing checklist can help.
Created to assist you in identifying the issues that a house may be hiding and also to show you how to spot the advantages of a property’s which other potential buyers may have missed, our home screening checklist gives you all the tips you require to make sure that when you submit an offer on your dream home you can be confident about the decision you make.
If you decide to buy the property, we would always recommend getting an architectural survey prior to making such a huge investment. This is especially relevant in the case of a renovation project and/or period property.
1. What is the overall condition for the House?
First things first. Before you even step foot inside the property sit back and examine it for possible issues.
Although we’ll go into more in depth on this, there are several easy checks you can perform initially when viewing the property on your own:
Are there large visible cracks within the brickwork or render?
Does the roof appear to be in good shape?
Are the windows all set and the glass is set?
Are there any signs of damp, such as the appearance of tide marks or peeling paint on your walls?
Do you think the chimney is straight?
Are the rainwater goods in good working order? Are they damaged or not functioning?
A building survey will inevitably assist you in determining whether cracks, for instance, are anything to be concerned regarding, should you choose to buy the property. Keep in mind that an architectural survey is distinct from the mortgage valuation survey, and is designed to give an overall picture of the condition of the house.
2. Are you in a Great Area?
This is actually a check you can make before you go to the property. It is likely that you be aware of the general location a house is in before viewing it. However, take some time to research local schools and facilities, transportation routes and the like.
Additionally, take a look at the neighbouring properties If you’re thinking about an extension or modifications that require permission from the planner, it could be beneficial to look at what has been done to adjacent homes since it can give you an idea of what local planners are willing to allow.
“It’s important to check the price of properties sold within the area. If you’re planning to take the plunge into major renovations and/or an extension, would the price of the project and the price that you pay for your property over the value of the ceiling for the area or street?” starts Claire Lloyd, Editor of Homebuilding & Renovating.
“If this will be your “forever home” the property’s location may not have any significance to you. If, however, you’re planning to sell in the near future, it is important to ensure that the purchase helps you get on the ladder to property ownership and not put your equity in a negative position.”
3. What’s the Planning History Like?
Which brings us nicely on to the planning history. A quick look at the planning section of your local council website will reveal all planning applications submitted on the property and their outcomes.
This is important when your house, as it is may be too small for you , and you’d have to build an addition to meet your requirements, but a number of application for an extension has so far been turned down the property may not be the ideal home for you.
4. Is There a Scope to extend?
With planning permission in place The house is viable to be extended? Are there enough spaces around the property for an extension or is it already expanded to its limits?
Even if you have room within the garden to extend into, will this leave you with your home as a home and not a garden?
It’s a good idea to present the design of your home to an architect or designer- they are likely to have the skills to think out of the box and come up with ideas that you may not have considered.
If you’re planning on the extension, it’s a good idea to carry the drainage survey prior to buy the property this will help you identify the exact location of the drains and could have implications about how and where you can expand.
“A drainage inspection will assist you in determining if there are any current issues which need addressing (such as cracked drainage pipes or ones that are not properly connected),” says Homebuilding & Renovating’s Editor, Claire Lloyd.
“Some issues are relatively cheap to address, while others can cost thousands of dollarswhich should be reflected in the price you pay for your property.”
5. Is there off-road parking?
Although not everyone feels the need to have off-road parking It is beneficial, especially in the case of children or pets.
Consider where guests will park during their stay. If you plan on doing work, you must also think about where to place a skip or big deliveries.
If there’s no off-road parking available Is there a chance to build a new driveway and submit a request to the local council to add a dropped kerb?
6. What Condition does the Roof in?
This is an extremely important examination as fixing the roof could be an expensive business.
Externally, signs of roof damage can be seen in broken tiles, broken or missing tiles, as well as damaged and missing flashings. You should also check for missing or crumbling edges on the verges as well as the lack of underfelt.
When assessing an internal home for renovations You should be looking for leaks, as this will also point to the roof structure having at least one way of being compromised.
The severity of the damage as well as how long it has been in such a state will determine the amount they will need to set things right. While replacing a couple of roof tiles will not cost the earth (a couple of hundred pounds would pay for it), extensive damage could lead to the roof’s entire covering needs to come off and replaced — a job which will run well into the PS1,000s.
If the roof has collapsed into the rooms below , you’ll also have to factor in costs for new ceilings as well.
7. Is the Brickwork in Good Condition?
As you continue to check the exterior Keep an eye for any signs of damage to the brickwork.
Cracked or missing mortar in the joints can require repainting. While you are there, take a look at the chimneyis it sturdy or is it sitting with an angles?
“Is that the chimney, or flaunching (the mortar on which the chimney is set) broken? If yes, it could be the cause of a problem with damp. These are generally easy to put right, depending on how accessible the chimney is. But, these should be jobs you incorporate into your renovation budget,” says Homebuilding & Renovating’s Editor Claire Lloyd.
If the home has been rendered, check for cracks — minor cracks are usually easily repaired, but larger cracks, which are more dangerous, might indicate structural instability.
8. How was the House Built?
Examining the method of construction used to construct the house is useful for several reasons.
In the first place, if your house was built with solid walls and traditional materials such as lime render, you’ll need to ensure you use breathable suitable materials to repair any damage to prevent condensation or damp issues.
The walls of solid construction are also harder to insulate than cavity walls (more typical in homes built in the postwar period after WWII).
It is essential to determine the type of foundations the house has too — some old houses were built with hardly any foundations. This could cause problems when it comes to expanding the property or adding more floors.
In addition, it may be difficult to get a mortgage on a house that was constructed using “non-standard” construction. This can be noted on the listing of the estate agent soliciting cash offers only.
9. Will Windows and Doors Need Replacing?
Examine doors, windows and other details of external joinery like fascia boards, for signs of damage and rot.
Smaller areas of rotten timber could be fixed and window repairs are definitely better than replacement. But, if the windows are in need of repair, it does pay to replace them on a like-for-like basis to ensure that the look of your home doesn’t get damaged.
If the original doors and windows have, at some stage, been removed and replaced with unattractive versions, you might also want to take into consideration the expense associated with making new replicas of originals.
10. Are there signs of Damp?
Once inside the home Check for signs of damp. Some indicators of damp are:
A “fusty” damp smell
Mold and damp patches on the walls
White salt deposits on the brickwork
Plaster that has shattered on ceilings and walls
Painting and wallpaper peeling
Dry or wet rot
It is crucial to realize that many old houses typically have damp issues . These tend to be resolved.
11. Is There An Structural Movement?
This is a huge issue. Although structural subsidence and structural movement do not always mean disaster but you must know what you’ll be dealing with before buying a house.
If you are looking at a home, look for the following:
Cracks in doors and windows
Cracks that go through many bricks (as in contrast to stress cracks in the plaster or single bricks)
Doors and windows that are stuck in their frames
Floors that are not even or damaged
If you suspect subsidence , it is crucial to call an expert in to assess the propertyThey will be able to give you advice on the severity of the issue and whether expensive solutions or underpinning are likely to be required.
12. Should a Rewire be required?
Rewiring a home will cost about PS3,000 for a 3 bedroom terraced house so it is essential to determine whether this job will be possible on the house you’re viewing.
A dated fuse box, old-fashioned light switchesand fabric-coated electrical flex and round pin plugs are just a few of the things that are a giveaway.
13. Do you think a new heating system will be needed?
If the property in question is equipped with a central heating system (some period homes that require renovation won’t) Check whether or not it will require replacing or updating.
An absence of radiators and the presence of storage heaters or electric heaters is a sure-fire sign that there isn’t a central heating system. Even if there’s heating equipment, you should check whether the boiler is old it could need a new one.
Inefficient, old radiators could need updating, so it’s worth planning for the replacement of the radiator.
14. What is the Loft Like?
It is important to look over the loft. Even if you’re not planning for a loft conversion, checking what state it’s currently in is vital.
Some questions to ask include Do you think it will have enough storage space? Are the walls insulated? Is it safe to access?
If the home does not have a loft, what much storage space can be found elsewhere on the property? Maybe there’s an outbuilding built for a specific purpose or garage? Never underestimate the amount of storage space you might require.
15. Are there any large Trees Nearby?
Although trees can be lovely in the backyard, take a minute to check whether any of them could cause problems in the future. Are they able to block light or block the view of other trees? For instance, large trees in close proximity could cause structural damage to your home.
Also, if thinking of extending your property that may mean that trees nearby need to be felled, check whether there are any trees protection orders (TPOs) in place that would stop you from doing the work.
16. Is it Liveable?
In the end, while it’s easy to get all gorgeous about properties that are that need to be modernized Ask yourself if it is feasible to stay on the property when work is being done.
If it is cold and you’re cold in a cold room, without heating or hot water and being surrounded by construction sites and construction work, you may regret your choice to camp.
If the houses for sale Burnley is not habitable you will need to decide where you’ll stay while construction is in progress and also consider the cost of this.
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