THE PROPERTY EXPERT
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.