Don’t Exchange Contracts Before Carrying Out These Vital Checks

This is a collaborative post.

The initial stages of falling in love are pure bliss. The rush of endorphins to the brain, your heart pumping faster than usual, sweaty palms, coy hair flicks and wobbly knees. We’re not talking about your first ever boyfriend; we are talking about that rush you feel when you first set foot inside the house you know you want to buy. It’s perfect. There’s just the right amount of space, it has some great period features, the garden’s not too shabby, and the kitchen is ideal for cooking up a storm. While on the face of it, the dwelling seems absolutely spot on, you should delve a little deeper to ensure everything is in order before you exchange those all-important contracts.

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The Survey

Unless you are buying and brand spanking new build, you should consider getting a Homebuyers Report rather than a mere valuation of the property you have your heart set on. This will involve a chartered surveyor heading to the address and performing a thorough viewing and set of checks to ensure the integrity and structure of the property are sound. They are able to notice things that you wouldn’t have a clue about. Do you walk around with a damp meter in your pocket? Probably not, but they do.

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The Roof

Often, we are so taken with the interior of a home that we forget to look up. It’s vital that you check the roofing of the home your planning to buy. If there are some slipped tiles or sunken sections, this could be a sign of something much worse. If you spot anything like this, it doesn’t mean you have to walk away from your dream home; you just need to get a surveyor to take a closer look. Near to your roof area will be the vital guttering. Any holes, cracks or missing pieces here can be a warning sign that damp might be imminent. Remember, any negatives that you spot regarding the structure of the house can be rectified prior to you signing on the dotted line.

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Have you ever been to view a gorgeous looking home only to walk past a window and feel a horrific cold draught on the back of your neck? This is because the double glazing needs replacing, isn’t sealed properly or needs an inspection. The worst culprits can often be conservatories, so it’s vital you have a good exploration of the fascias and look out for signs of excess condensation.

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An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is useful to determine how much you’ll be forking out for your energy bills. The lower the number, the more inefficient the home. It pays to read through the report and look at the measures recommended to improve the home’s energy performance. By implementing some of these, you’ll be saving money in the long run. You never know, you may be able to use the EPC to get some money off the purchase price.

Buying a home is exciting and thrilling. Just be aware of the pitfalls, and don’t get seduced by all that’s superficial and take your time to explore every inch of your potential dream property.


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