From mortgages and contracts to Swiftcover Home Insurance and removal vans: when buying a new home, it seems there are hundreds of things to think about. If you’re planning on making a move at some point in the future, here’s a quick checklist to some of the most important things to look out for before signing on the dotted line.
1. Damp. Check behind sofas and cabinets, in the corners of rooms and in cupboards to make sure the property is damp-free.
2. Windows. Good ventilation helps to keep the house aerated, damp-free and cool in the heat, so it’s worth checking that all of the windows are in good working order – it’s unfortunately common for window jambs to be painted over, which can jam them shut.
3. Check whether the property has been fitted with loft and/or cavity wall insulation – this can help to cut down heat loss, as well as reducing your energy bills.
4. Establish which direction the property faces. This could be a major deciding factor if you want to make the most of a sunny south-facing garden, or an east-facing bedroom for plenty of morning sunshine.
5. Having a professional check out the electrical wiring is a good way to avoid any unpleasant surprises – badly installed wiring can lead to electrical devices becoming unsafe, as well as blown fuses.
6. Make sure there’s enough storage space in the property to accommodate all your belongings. It’s wise to measure your furniture and appliances, and bear these measurements in mind when looking at potential new homes.
7. A good home needs firm foundations, so make sure you check for any subsidence or other structural issues. You will need to use a reputable chartered surveyor to perform these checks.
8. Many people look for a fixer-upper, and plan to add conservatories or extensions in the future. Check that local restrictions on planning permission won’t scupper your plans in the long term.
9. Go for a drive in the local area – keep an eye out for schools, GP practices, transport links and corner shops within easy reach. You know what they say: location, location, location!
10. If you drive, take a look at the local parking availability – if the property doesn’t have a driveway, is there sufficient street parking? Are there permits available for residents? Checking this from the outset will make life easier in the long-run.