As a first-time buyer, it can be tricky to know what to look out for. Even if you think you’ve found your dream home, you might find hidden features that aren’t always what they seem. Keeping an eye out for the most common – and often most expensive – issues you might come across while you’re house hunting will help you weed out any homes that don’t suit your needs, and will allow you to stick within your budget.
1. Unsatisfactory heating system
If you’re house hunting in summertime, it can be easy to forget just how much you’ll come to rely on your central heating once the weather turns chilly again. If you’re considering buying an older home, make sure to check with the current owners how long they’ve had their boiler for, and how efficient it is. As well as risking a rise in your monthly heating bills with inefficient heating, old pipes without a history of regular maintenance are more likely to leak, causing extensive issues further down the line.
It’s important to bear in mind that your heating system is one of the biggest and most important investments you’ll make for your home. BOXT has a range of the most innovative boilers on the market, alongside comprehensive guides and tools to help you make the best decision possible for your household.
2. Unloved exteriors
As the first thing you, your guests and future buyers down the line will see, it’s important your front porch, garden and fencing are in top condition. If you go to a house viewing, you’re likely to make a judgement based on your first impressions of the property; if the exterior doesn’t look well cared for, it’s usually a sign of worse things to come inside.
You should also keep an eye out for signs of any structural damage within your property. Flaking paint, sagging steps or crumbling plaster could be a sign that something more serious than a cosmetic update is needed. Expensive and time-consuming to fix, structural damage is something to steer clear of, especially if you’re hoping to move into your new property sooner rather than later.
3. A smell of damp and mould
No matter how tidy and clean your potential new home appears to be, keep an eye out for a smell of damp, mould or mildew. Damp is most likely to be found in cellars or lofts, so ensure you inspect every room carefully when you view each property. Even if the house you’re considering has been freshly painted, there are several telltale signs that damp is affecting the property. Condensation on windows, a noticeable chill in the room, and peeling wallpaper are all signs that damp and mould have found their way into your potential new home.
4. Dark or cramped rooms
If the house you’re viewing is currently occupied or lived in , you might struggle to visualise how you can put your own spin on things. However, one way of understanding how your interiors might work is by looking at where the sun hits in your potential new home. Small windows or dark rooms are difficult to alter; in comparison, cosmetic updates like painting, flooring changes and furniture removal are a lot easier to carry out.
5. Traffic congestion
When you’re viewing your house, it’s important to consider your home at different times of day, at both the weekend and within the week. While the road your house is on might appear calm and quiet on a Sunday morning, it could become a very different story on a busy weekday, especially if you have a bus route or local commuting line nearby. Taking time to check out your new area thoroughly, exploring and keeping an eye out for any warning signs that things may not be as they seem will help you avoid any unexpected surprises once you’re settled in to your new home.