Defects to look out for when buying a property

Whether you’re a first time buyer or an experienced property investor, a property purchase needs careful consideration and there are a range of potential defects that you need to be mindful of. It is important to look past the cosmetics of the property to see any underlying issues that may be present.

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Here’s our list of potential defects or issues you need to look out for:

  • Rotting wood
  • Wood that is often exposed to moisture, such as in kitchens and bathrooms, will rot over time if it is not painted or treated with a finish that is specifically designed for this purpose. Ask to open up cupboards that are under sinks in particular, to see if there might be a problem.

  • Ventilation
  • If there is not adequate ventilation, moisture in a property can’t evaporate. When water or moisture remains in an area for an extended amount of time, issues can arise such as damp, mold and rot.

    When checking a property for adequate ventilation, check ventilation duct, weep holes and the space between the roof and the ceiling. Look for damp patches on the ceiling or walls for signs of a problem.

  • Roofing issues
  • When viewing the property from the outside, look out for any old, missing or broken tiles on the roof. If a roof is damaged, there could be a risk of a leak which can cause significant damage to a house.

  • Drainage and water control
  • Check that gutters and downspouts are well maintained as poor drainage systems around the exterior of the home can lead to water and damp problems. Large scale drainage problems can also cause damage to the property foundations.

  • Amateur repairs and renovations
  • Homeowners often carry out repairs and improvements themselves, especially when they have lived in a property for a while, and not always with the best ability and skill. Look carefully at the plumbing and electrical areas as well as built in furniture such as cupboards and desks.

  • Safety issues
  • Check that any handrails and balcony rails are secure and to a high quality. Also enquire about any renovations that have been made to the house and be mindful of the quality of the workmanship. Check exit routes out of the house and consider whether there is an upstairs window that can be used in an emergency.

    It is important that you are aware of any major issues when buying a property so that you can incorporate it into your costing. It may also affect your mortgage application with lenders not willing to lend on a property if a major issue is discovered. Visit Propillo.com for free advice about mortgages and the mortgage process in the UK.

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