Choosing to buy a new home is one of life’s biggest and most exciting decisions, and whilst it’s easy to jump straight in when you find a seemingly perfect property, it’s important to take a step back and make sure your next house doesn’t turn into a costly money pit.
So, whilst price, location and kerb appeal are all significant factors, it’s also advisable to take a good hard look at the more technical aspects of the property, keeping an eye out for any structural problems, interior or exterior damage, and anything else that may need repair. Getting this right at the start could save you a lot of money in the long-run, with the seller absorbing any costs and leaving you to concentrate of kitting out your new home.
The key is to make sure you visit the property more than once – this will give you a real flavour of what you’re buying, as well as a sense of perspective, and a measure of how any changes or repair work may have progressed over time. To help you avoid the most common costly pitfalls for buyers, download our house buying checklist pdf and bring it along to your next house viewing.
Download and print our house viewing checklist pdf
- Is the property free from mould and mildew? Check everywhere!
- Are the ceilings free from damp, cracks and sagging?
- Are skirting boards rotten, loose or damaged?
- Are there signs of damp on any of the floors or carpets?
- Are the internal walls in good repair and free from damage?
- Are there cracks in the walls?
- Are the floors uneven or sloping?
- Are there water stains on the floors?
- Is the plumbing noisy?
- Are window or door frames damaged or ill-fitting?
- Is there any exposed wiring?
- Is the boiler in good condition?
- Are the room dimensions big enough for your furniture?
- Is there sufficient storage space/access to loft or attic?
- Are the curtain rails/blinds loose?
- Are there broken hinges on fixtures or fittings?
- What type of home heating/cooling system is there?
- Is there decay or rot in wooden structures, supports or fixtures?
- Are there accessible power points in each room?
- Are the radiators in the convenient locations in each room?
- Are there any signs of subsidence such as sticking doors or major cracks in walls?
- Are the white goods (fridge, oven, washing machine) in working condition?
- Is the tiling on the walls or floors properly sealed?
- Are the extractor fans in good condition?
- Is there any sign of rust to sinks or appliances?
- Are any of the appliances broken?
- Are there any broken cabinet doors?
- Is there water damage underneath sinks or fittings?
- Are there any blocked pipes?
- Are all of the fixtures securely attached?
- Are there any issues with water pressure or temperature in the shower or bath?
- Is there a smell indicating poor drainage?
- Do the taps and drains work properly?
- Are all of the drawers and cupboards in working condition?
- Are the pipes blocked?
- Is the silicon sealant around the baths and bathroom fixtures peeling?
- Is the paint and rendering in good condition?
- Are the window sills free from rot?
- Are front and back doors free from cracks?
- Do the roof tiles have cracks?
- Is the chimney in good repair?
- Are the gutters clear and well kept?
- Is there evidence of leaning or bulging in the walls or foundations?
- Are there missing bricks on roofs/buildings/garden walls?
- Is there rotten wood on any garden features such as the decking?
- Is the decking rot free and recently varnished?
- Does the garden have decent drainage?
- Are there any overhanging plants or trees that could pose a problem?
- Is the garden suitable for your children and pets?
- Are there any security issues? i.e. a broken gate, cracked window, etc.
- Does the property have loft and cavity wall insulation?
- Are the windows double glazed? This includes conservatories.
- Do the doors have draught proofing?
- Is the boiler in good condition and adhere to the latest environmental standards?
- Are the windows A rated on the BFRC scale?
- Do the appliances have adequate energy efficiency ratings?
Security & Safety
- Are there broken door or window locks?
- Are there smoke detectors? Alarm systems?