5 faults to spot when viewing a property

Forget its proximity to good schools or even a Waitrose supermarket, period features come near the top of many home-buyers’ list of must-haves.

propertydefectsPeriod homes in desirable locations are in demand wherever you are hoping to buy.

But Barry Homebuyers warns that failing to take a good note of the condition of the prospective property could land any buyer with a hefty bill if any defects are found following the exchange of contracts.

Here a five signs that your dream home could turn into a house or horrors.

1. Damp

With both penetrating damp and rising damp being costly faults to fix, property viewers need to check for flaky or sodden wallpaper, dark spots on walls, mould growing and a milky residue appearing on walls. Damp can be extremely expensive to repair and reinforce again because it gets into the structural foundations of the property and wreaks havoc with the timber.

2. Poor insulation

While not necessarily a harmful fault, poor insulation is the cause of large heating bills that is easily rectified by using cavity wall insulation and loft insulation.

However, this solution leaves the property more susceptible to condensation and poor air flow. This, in turn, leads to damp and mould, making the property potentially dangerous for young children or people with respiratory problems. If the house appears draughty, request a detailed survey.

3. Roof damage

If the roof appears to be leaking or there are tiles or shingles missing, take a second look. Roofs are expensive features to repair and if any lasting water damage has got under the protective roofing layer, then it will be expensive to repair. If it is just a few shingles missing, you can always replace them but make sure to have the roof and ceiling thoroughly inspected for leaks.

4. Buckling ceilings

Does the ceiling look tired? Are there little salt stalactites hanging from the ceiling? This is a sure sign that there is damp of some sort located throughout the house, or condensation. Buckling ceilings can appear because the wooden boards of the floor above are warped, meaning you would have to completely replace an entire floor.

5. Poorly kept neighbourhood

This is one many property hunters do not consider. When you look at the neighbouring gardens or the outsides of their houses, do they look neat, tidy and well kept? Or are the weeds overgrowing, with moss on the windowsill and in the corners of the windows?

If the neighbourhood surrounding the property doesn’t look like it is up to scratch, this is a clear warning sign that perhaps the neighbourhood is not for you. Problems can spread with unkempt lawns, so if the neighbourhood gardens look well-kept and in good condition, this is a good sign of a good neighbourhood.

At the end of the day, if you are ever in doubt of the condition of the property, it is highly recommended that you enlist the help of a professional surveyor who will be able to conduct a proper risk assessment, complete with a typed up report.

Advice will then be given as an estimate of the costs needed to repair such a property, allowing you to make an informed decision as to whether or not to proceed with a property purchase.