Buying a house is an exciting time, and when you find a property you love and that ticks all of your boxes, it’s easy to get carried away. When buying a house it’s easy to lose yourself dreaming about the colour of the walls, the decor and the space, which can sometimes overlook important elements that can end up being really costly in the long run. When buying a house be sure to keep your head screwed on, so you don’t overlook these four practical things when you’re buying a new home.
FIND OUT ABOUT ANY SHARED OWNERSHIP
The legal documents might show that the property you’re purchasing is freehold and will be owned only by you as the buyer, but what about any surrounding land, drains or even local buildings that you’re responsible for maintaining the upkeep of? Find out where you stand legally, the last thing you want is to end up with a big unexpected expense because the local parish needs a new roof and as a resident you’re partially responsible, or that the drain in the street has flooded and you and your neighbours are responsible for covering the cost.
CHECK FOR SIGNS OF PEST ACTIVITY
Some kinds of pest activity are obvious- from dead bugs or rodents to chewed carpets or walls, droppings and more. However, it’s not always this easy to tell, so once you’ve had a look around the house and it’s something you’re considering, go back for a second visit and inspect more carefully. Look in cupboards and check in corners of rooms. Look outside for things like birds nests or wasp nests that would require a professional wasp removal company. You need to know that no structural damage has been caused by pests, and any existing damage (along with the cost of removing the pests) is negotiated into the asking price.
HAVE THE STRUCTURE, WIRING + PLUMBING CHECKED
A house might look ok at a glance, but it could well be hiding a multitude of sins- especially an older property. A general survey won’t usually look at these kinds of things, so you might have to send a specialist or tradespeople in to have a look for you before you purchase the property. Again, any major issues and costs could either be negotiated in how much you pay, or you might choose to walk away from the property entirely. Since these are incredibly expensive problems to fix, this isn’t something you want to find out about later on once you’ve paid the money and signed on the dotted line.
FIND OUT ANY GUARANTEES WITH WORK THAT HAS BEEN DONE
Have the windows, kitchen or any building work like loft conversions or extensions been done in recent years? Has the boiler been replaced? If so, find out if there are any guarantees for the work so you can claim to get them fixed for free if anything goes wrong later on.