BUYING a house is a big cost and commitment so you want to get it right.
A property expert has shared the checks you should make beforehand – and following them could save you thousands of pounds.
Buying a house is a big investment so you want to get it right
Checking the outside and in will help you avoid costs later on
The top tips come from That Property Guy on TikTok, otherwise known as Kyle Mattison.
The 29-year-old says that anyone viewing a house in 2022 should take a close look at several areas inside and outside before they think of making an offer.
For instance if something like locks or light switches are not working in the property, you could end up having top fork out to fix them later when you move in.
Such repairs can range from small jobs costing a couple of quid to major ones running into thousands of pounds.
While they shouldn’t put you off buying a house, checking them now means fewer surprises later on, or budgeting for them – and you could even factor any issues into your offer price.
For instance, if you spot that the floors are not up to scratch and have to be replaced, you could reduce your offer by how much that would cost.
While checks like this are sensible to make, you’ll also need to get a survey before before buying which can also pick up on any issues that are harder to spot.
A survey costs from around £200 to more than £1,000, depending on how in depth you want it.
We heard from one first-time buyer who swerved purchasing a £135,000 two-bed house after a £700 building survey revealed asbestos and damp – which would have cost her £20,000 to fix.
Kyle, who has nearly half a million followers on TikTok, told Portsmouth News he has bought and sold several houses, including renovating them.
Here’s his list of the 20 things you should check when buying a house.
Look up before you enter to see if there’s any damage to the roof, including broken tiles, says Kyle.
According to checkatrade.com replacing up to five roof tiles will set you back around £170. But replacing the entire roof could cost £10,000 or more, depending on the size and type of tile.
While it might be tempting to overlook one or two damaged tiles, this could lead to leaks in wet weather which cost more to repair later.
One new home owner was hit with a £7k bill to fix her roof after the previous owner used super glue.
The same goes for brickwork too, says Kyle, check for broken bricks or render.
Taking the time to stand outside and inspect the state of it can help you avoid any nasty – and expensive – surprises later on.
Guttering too is worth a check according to Kyle as this can also cause damp problems.
The average gutter replacement will set you back £700 but again this depends on the size of house, type of guttering and severity of the problem.
Take a glance out the windows to see if you’re overlooked so you can avoid any surprises later on.
While they may all be good friends down under, you may not be so keen to have them staring into your new home.
Signs of damp
Wet walls, condensation and mould is not only unsightly but can be very bad for your health too.
Removing mould can cost between £50 and £250 for a single room, or up to £1,000 to from an entire house.
Fixing the underlying damp problems can cost far more. One first-time buyer told us how they were hit with a £20k bill for fixing damp.
“Look out for cracks as they could be a sign of subsidence,” says Kyle.
It may just be a surface issue, but in the worst case if it’s subsidence you could end up with serious structural issue that need fixing.
Subsidence means the ground beneath a building sinks, pulling the property’s foundations down with it.
Fixing it can involve underpinning and excavation, and the average costs is £12,500.
Kyle recommends asking if white goods are included or not.
When buying a home some fixtures and fitting are included and others are not – it’s up to the seller.
White goods like fridges, freezers and washing machines are sometimes left by the previous owner, while other times they are taken with them.
It’s helpful to know if you’ll need to buy any yourself, or check if they will get rid of any old ones you don’t want so you don’t have to do it yourself.
“Do they work?” asks Kyle in the 60 second clip. “lncluding windows” he adds.
A broken lock won’t cost the world, but it’s better if you don’t have to pay out for it on top of buying a home, which is already pricey process.
As well as locks you want double glazing – but make sure they haven’t blown, he says.
Blown double glazing means that the seal has broken down and you can often see condensation between the two pains of glass.
Replacing a window pane can cost between £55 and £145 depending on the size, checkstrade say, or even more for large bay windows.
“Test they feel stable,” says Kyle, showing a step on laminate floors to see if there’s any movement.
This is likely to be a sign of badly fitted flooring but a survey can help you understand if it signals anything more serious.
Test a few to make sure they work, Kyle says.
It may be just that a bulb has gone, but in the worst case you could face a bill for not only installing a new fitting, but larger rewiring work which doesn’t come cheap.
The same goes for sockets too, but he adds: “are there enough of them?”
It can be annoying having them in the wrong place and extension cables come in useful.
But some houses can be quirky and if you are without an essential plug point a new one can cost you in the hundreds to install.
Meters and fuse
“Make sure you know where they are and that they are in good condition, ” says Kyle.
If gas or electric metre are somewhere awkward or unsightly that you’re not happy with, moving them would cost a penny or two.
Checkatrade say that it will set you back £700 on average for materials and £200 a day for costs and this job can take time.
If there’s a prepay metre and you want to move to a monthly bill you may be charged by the electric company to replace them.
Many homes now have smart metres, which can cost as much as £350 to remove one.
You’ll want to check everything is in order here too and that it works in the first instance.
A new boiler can cost anywhere from £600 to several thousands of pounds.
Meanwhile older models might need more repairs which is something to think about when budgeting for the cost of running a house you own.
Type of heating
There are many different types of heating you’ll find in homes, from gas central heating to greener heat pumps.
There are different costs involved in terms of upkeep and running costs, so check these out first to avoid surprises later on.
“Especially useful in the winter months, are there enough radiators” Kyle asks as he checks out a house in the TikTok video.
Without a radiator or if they are in the wrong place you might have to invest on other ways of keeping warm, like portable heaters.
Meanwhile, moving a radiator will cost around £275 while removing one can start from around £80.
“No one likes a drizzly shower,” says Kyle and plumbers don’t come cheap.
This can also be related to the boiler and heating system it’s worth checking all three.
Electric, gas and EPC report
Ask to see the reports that show gas and electrical safety as well as the EPC.
Homes must have an Energy Performance Certificates which rates the energy efficiency of the property.
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