Whilst the majority of home owners selling their property are honest you will always get a few who hide certain aspects of the home to any potential new owners, maybe things they know could have an impact on a sale. Below are a few things to ask or look out for when you have your eye on any new potential property.
Social Behaviour Issues
Whilst rare it does happen, people move simply because they don’t get on with their neighbours, this could be for many reasons, noise, parking arguments, tidiness etc. Never underestimate the impact neighbours can have on daily lives. When viewing the property you can always ask how are the neighbours. Things like seeing the state of the neighbours gardens and general upkeep of their property can also tell you a lot about them.
Local Traffic Issues
There’s simply no way of knowing what the immediate traffic is like near your potential new home unless you live there. Your road could be a short cut at peak traffic times, meaning it becomes busy and noisy not to mention a risk for safety for kids. If you live near the motorway then every time the motorway closes do you get the traffic redirected to your street? Is there any schools nearby meaning twice a day your road becomes packed and people park in silly places. Nothing worse then coming home from the supermarket and not being able to park outside your front door.
Smells From Local Areas
If it’s a new build then sometimes the drains outside are not able to cope with the requirements being asked of them. Maybe when it rains quite heavily the drains can’t copy and you get water flowing down your street. Likewise in the summer on the few days its hot are there any smells from nearby sewers etc. If you get the chance then having a drive up when it’s raining heavily can help you see any potential issues with drainage or sewers near your property. A quick look on Google maps could also show any local sewers or businesses/industries that can cause smells in warm weather.
House Wiring Problems
If your property is old then you could be at risk from decaying wiring systems. One giveaway could be old plug sockets or discoloured plug sockets that show signs of aging. Whilst not a massive issue if any re-wiring needs doing it can be expensive and not to mention unsafe if the wiring has issues. Maybe the wiring can’t cope with the modern every day demands of usage from all members of the family and shorts out or trip. Surveys carried out will most likely find any issues also so it’s essential to make sure you get this done as soon as you have decided on the property.
Major Structural Issues
This is one of the main reasons to instruct a surveyor to carry out a survey on the property you want to buy. This way any issues with the property or structure can be highlighted straight away at the start of the process. The seller will assume you will get this done anyway but also always ask when viewing the property about any issues the homeowner knows about. When viewing the property make sure you pay close attention to everything, cracks, gaps, floorboards creaking etc. These could be signs all is not as it seems and may require further investigation.
Local Transport Options
If you commute a lot then there could be times you need to rely on public transport, buses, trains and more. If you have children then they might need to get the bus to school on a daily basis. You need to know how frequent buses are and how reliable too. All easy information to find out but could save you hassle and stress further down the line. How late in the evening buses run could also be a factor.
New Building Plans Nearby
Imagine buying a property with great views only for some flats to be built a few years later. You can view any planning permissions nearby or applications on your local council website. You can also instruct your solicitor and surveyor to look into this too. It might be the home owner is selling as they know of something being built nearby but won’t disclose this information to you. It’s up to you to make sure this is checked beforehand or at least get a professional to do this. If there is any spare land near your potential new home then there is always a risk so you need to find out about any potential building plans.
Mould & Damp
If you view a property in the summer you might not see the full affects of mould or damp, unless in a cellar. Always ask to look in a cellar too if they have one, this can show any signs of damp or mould. If loft access is easy then also ask to see in the loft, or maybe keep this for a 2nd viewing if after the first you decide you like the property. Surveys will take mould and damp into account also anyway but always good to be pro-active and look for yourself.
If the property you are viewing is near a school you might get noise issues, and whilst it might not seem too interfering it could soon grow tiresome if everyday on multiple occasions. Check for nearby schools and maybe large industrial works, you don’t want your summers day in the garden spoilt by clanking and clunking of heavy machinery. No harm in asking about how quiet the garden is in the summer whilst viewing the property also.
This one can be more common then you think. Many people move due to long standing disputes with the neighbours. Nothing is worse then dreading being out in the garden or bumping into people you have disagreements with. As we mentioned before little things like how they keep their outside area and property in shape can tell you a little about the neighbours. If rubbish is strewn all over the garden and the general state is dirty and unkept then maybe it’s worth investigating more before committing to any purchase.