If you’re looking for a huge life changing moment, they don’t come much bigger than moving home. Buying your first house can be a daunting task, but, I’m here to make things easier. I won’t bore you with a typical ‘how to buy a house’ post. No, there are too many of them online already. Instead, I’ve got a checklist of things you must think about before you buy:
Water damage is something that can be horrific for a home. If your house has every had it, then you know what I mean. It can cause some issues, and be a real pain to sort out. So, if you buy a house with hidden water damage, it won’t be a good idea.
Naturally, it should be common knowledge to check for signs of water damage before purchasing. However, when you start viewing homes, you can get caught up in the moment. Estate agents will often try and deter your attention. They don’t want you to see the bad parts of a house, so they turn your gaze elsewhere. So, you have to be alert and look for the telltale signs of water damage.
One of the biggest signs will be mold. If there’s mold on the walls, then that means the area was once damp. And, if it was damp, then it suffered water damage. Mold can be bad for so many reasons. As well as being harmful to your health, it’s a struggle to remove. Rarely will you be able to get rid of it with regular cleaning supplies. You’ll have to bring in an expert that specializes in mold removal. To avoid getting hit with a water damaged home, you should call in a surveyor. They can do a proper check of the home before you buy it. There won’t be anyone trying to turn their attention away from things, so, they can be more thorough. They’ll tell you if any damage is present, helping you make the right choice. As such, you could save loads by not having to pay for repairs or mold removal.
Another thing you have to look at are the drains in the house. This is something that many people neglect when they’re moving home. They spot the house of their dreams and get over excited. The estate agent urges them to make an offer, as there are lots of other families interested. So, you quickly submit an offer and get it accepted in no time. Then, you still forget about the drains and get ready for your move. Eventually, you move in and realize the drainage system is messed up.
I’m talking about a multitude of issues here. Firstly, there could be problems with the internal drainage system. Perhaps the bath is constantly blocked up, and you can’t get it clear without a plumber. Then, you have bigger problems like issues with the sewer drains underneath and outside the house. Often, these can become blocked and cause vile smells and overflow in drains outside. To deal with this, you’d need to find plumbers that specialize in fixing and replacing old drainage pipes in the area. All this means is that you add cost to the house. Plus, jobs like this can take a while and involve digging up old pipes. So, it can be quite intrusive, but you need it done.
There’s another issue with the drainage system too, and it revolves around planning an extension. Some house has drains in the back garden that restrict where you build an extension. It’s vital you get a company out to check the drainage restrictions before you buy. Trust me; drains may seem like a minor thing, but they can be a big issue when buying a home. Don’t neglect them, and cross them off this list before you buy.
Again, this is something that you may think is common sense. If you want to move home, you may have aspirations of altering your new property. Perhaps you want to build an extension? Or, add a little conservatory to the house? Either way, you’ll need planning permission from the local council. What you don’t want is to buy a house, and get excited about a cool project. Only to find out that you can’t extend your house because of city planning issues. All of a sudden, the reason this house was so cheap becomes clear to you!
It’s so simple to avoid this, all you have to do is check with the council before you buy. Contact someone in the city planning division and ask about the property. Explain your situation and see if there are any restrictions. If they say no, everything’s fine, then you’re sorted. If they say yes, there are restrictions, then you can’t extend your house.
The previous two things on this checklist have been set in stone. You need a property without water damage or drain problems. However, being able to extend a property is down to personal preference. If you are confident you don’t ever need to extend, then this might not be an issue. But, for people that want to work on a house at some point, you have to ensure you get planning permission.
Finally, I have a few things to say about the local area. You must check it out before you buy a property. Why? Because it can mean so much, and be quite costly too. Imagine moving somewhere with no local shops or public schools. You’ll spend a fortune on petrol driving to a different area every day. Or, it could cost money to send your kids to a local private school if a public one is too far away.
Plus, you want your family to grow up in a family-friendly area, right? So, check things out before you move and see if it’s suitable for you. This is arguably the biggest issue, as a bad area can have a huge impact on your life.
So, before you buy a house, ensure you look at all these things on my checklist. Go through each one and cross it off once you’re satisfied. Then, you’re in a much better position to move home. You can move in and start making the house your own!