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10 things to look for when buying a home

Buying a first home is an exciting but daunting experience. Whilst there are processes in place to avoid any serious problems especially a bad report from a surveyor, there are other things to look out for.

These may seem a little strange or pedantic but may just save you money before you move in instead of finding them after completion.

Below is a list of things that you should check for and that can be done with minimum time while you are viewing the property.

1. Check that the taps and shower(s) work

When you are at the property, just quickly check that all of the taps work. It will take 30 seconds and will give you peace of mind that they do in fact work and that there is sufficient pressure. Do the same for any showers as well.

2. Check all of the windows

Open and close all of the windows in the property. Replacing windows can be costly and if it is required then you will have to factor in the cost to your offer. If the house has double glazing then check for moisture between the panes as this is a sign of the seal being defect and needing to be replaced.

3. Flush the toilets

I know it seems a little strange but go ahead and flush the toilets. If anything just for peace of mind.

4. Check the fuse box

Replacing the electrics is an expensive job. If you are unsure where the fuse box is then ask the agent. Once you have found it just double check that it looks up to date. In Jersey an old fuse box is in a metal grey box. The new ones are plastic and white.

5. Check the appliances work

Make sure the oven, hob, extractor, dishwasher, fridge and freezer are all in working order. This also applies to any other appliances such as washing machines and wine fridges (if included). It depends on what is coming with the property.

6. Make sure the heating works

Pretty self-explanatory but applies more to oil and gas systems. Ask when they were last serviced.

7. Check for damp

Damp can be tricky to spot at times. Key things to look out for are signs of discolouration in the room either at ground level or ceiling level. Another giveaway is the smell some people try to cover it up with scented candles. If you see them ask to view the property again without them lit (this is only because some vendors only put them on to give the house a welcoming smell.).

8. Look out for exterior cracks

Most exterior cracks are signs of settlement (especially on new builds) however large cracks can be a cause for concern and will be worth flagging up to the surveyor to ensure that they check.

9. Check the gutters

When you are looking around the outside of the property have a quick look to see if the gutters are well maintained and clear. If not it could lead to issues further down the line.

10. Check the insulation

Not many people think to do this, but it can save you money not only on putting new insulation in but the heating costs that come with it. The best place to check is in the attic.

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