Harefield Gazette - - PROPERTY - PAUL GILLE­SPIE; 020 8426 1972; pgille­spie@gibbs-gille­; www.face­­s­gille­spie; Twit­ter: @gibb­s­gille­spie

Buy­ing a Home? Open your eyes, ears and nose! BUY­ING a home is an ex­cit­ing and of­ten emo­tive event – and more than likely the most ex­pen­sive item you will buy. This means that you re­ally need to bear a few im­por tant points in mind when go­ing to view some­thing that takes your eye (other than to have a good, lo­cal, es­tab­lished and in­de­pen­dent agent such as Gibbs Gille­spie to ad­vise you!), which in­clude:

• It is a bad idea to buy un­seen – it does hap­pen – even in a fast-mov­ing mar­ket.The more times you view a house the more likely you are to spot any po­ten­tial is­sues.

• Try to be dis­pas­sion­ate and not to see the proper ty as a home but sim­ply as a build­ing that needs in­spect­ing.

• Spend 15 to 30 min­utes look­ing around the proper ty and view it on three or four oc­ca­sions – at dif­fer­ent times of day – to see how light, noises and other con­di­tions change.

• Spend at least half an hour walk­ing

around the gen­eral area dur­ing the week, at rush hour, at week­ends and at dif­fer­ent times, such as when pubs or other venues close.

• Look at the struc­ture of the build­ing, for ex­am­ple to see if there are any hair­line cracks in the walls and if so in­ves­ti­gate fur ther.

• Use your nose as well as your eyes; damp can give off a musty smell even if you don’t see any phys­i­cal signs.

• If you do spot any faults you shouldn’t nec­es­sar­ily be put off buy­ing, you could use what you have dis­cov­ered to ne­go­ti­ate on the price.

• The seller doesn’t have to tell you about prob­lems, in fact they may try to hide them. Com­mon ‘reme­dies’ in­clude paint­ing over damp and hid­ing wall cracks or floor prob­lems with fur­ni­ture or rugs.

• If there is any uncer tainty over who owns a gar­den, park­ing space or ac­cess, make sure you find out and have it con­firmed in writ­ing.

• Peo­ple of­ten think they have had a sur­vey done when in re­al­ity it was just a mor tgage val­u­a­tion.

Be sure to al­ways have a proper house sur­vey car­ried out and look into the dif­fer­ences be­tween a Con­di­tion Re­por t, a Home­buyer’s

Re­por t, and a Build­ings Sur­vey.

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