Things to look out for as a first time buyer

Buying your first house can be a daunting experience, it’s not exactly a cheap investment! It’s handy to be prepared before planning house viewings. House prices are on the rise and it’s no small investment. Be sure that you can afford the deposit needed, the mortgage repayments, and all the additional costs that comes with owning a home – energy bills, council tax, broadband, insurance, etc.

Once you’re confident you can afford it, book in viewings and ensure the properties you’re interested in meet all your requirements. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, the sellers have to be honest with their answers.

Things to look out for

Damp – you can identify damp by the musty smell and peeling wallpaper. Damp can lead to health issues and fungal decay which can be difficult to get rid of. Be sure to look in corners and question any dark patches you find.

Plumbing – don’t be afraid to flush the toilet in the house to see what the plumbing is like. Check that the pipes are insulated and question when the boiler was last replaced or serviced. You don’t want to spend your first winter in the house freezing cold!

Roof – this might sound like you’re going above and beyond to be ‘extra’ but replacing a roof is expensive business. The life expectancy of a roof is 15-20 years depending on the material that was used and you don’t want to have that extra spend looming over your head after purchasing a house.

Asbestos – if you’re looking at an older property, there’s a chance the materials used have asbestos. You may need to hire a specialist to check this as exposure to asbestos can have negative effects to your health. Asbestos was totally banned in 1999 so any buildings prior to this could potentially contain it. If you are unaware of any asbestos in the house but are exposed to it, be sure to find a reputable asbestos claims solicitor for help.

What’s included – there’s no harm in finding out what is included in the price. Do you get to keep the dishwasher, the curtains? It gives you a better understanding on what you need to purchase prior to moving in or how much clearing out you’ll need to do.

When you go to a house viewing, be sure to write down a checklist you can refer to. This will ensure you have a better understanding of the house and be able to find something that is suited to you. It’s always handy to know how much work you’ll need to do to a property, or if you can move in without having to rip anything out for the first couple of years.