“It's the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” These are the words of John Wooden, one of the most successful coaches in the history of American sport. He may have been talking about basketball, but this particular pearl of wisdom is equally applicable to making a potential house purchase.
No matter how impressive some houses for sale may appear in the pictures, a closer inspection is the only way to tell you’re really looking at a dream home. Here are some of the details you should be looking for during a house inspection.
Visit at different times of day
When you're searching for a home, the light and atmosphere of the property are important. What you mustn't ignore is that both of these will change throughout the day. For that reason, it’s best to visit at different times of day, paying close attention to noise levels and changes in light. Some real estate agents will opt to hold an open house inspection at the most attractive time of day. To see what it’s like the rest of the time, insist on a second house inspection at a time of your choosing.
Take a look at the attic
A solid roof is an essential component of a dream home. Therefore, when considering a potential house purchase, it’s a good idea to start your house inspection at the very top of the house, in the attic. Your property inspection checklist should include looking for light leaks and, of course, water leaks. This is also a good time to check out the insulation.
Watch out for damp
Damp is one of the most common problems found when looking for a new home. Sadly, it's also something that a first time buyer can easily miss, causing problems further down the line. During your house inspection, pay particular attention to all outside walls and the basement if there is one. Remember that the seller may well have covered up any damp with paint, so it's important that you're thorough in your house inspection.
Inspect the heating system
In order to keep your dream home cosy and warm in winter, you’ll need an efficient boiler. Taking the time when house hunting to check out the health of the heating system can save much time and money in the future. You might even want to enlist a professional to have a look around before moving forward with your potential house purchase.
Assess the windows
Most people spend a lot of time looking at windows when they're house hunting. Not only can they have a big impact on the aesthetics of a dream home, but they can also be a source of problems if they've not been well tended to.
While house hunting for your dream home, look out for any cracks and warps in both the glass and window frames. Check that all the windows open easily and – most importantly – that they close and seal. Bad windows shouldn't stand in the way of a potential house purchase, but they might have a considerable impact on negotiation of a price.
At Engel & Völkers, we’re experts in international property sales. If you’re considering a potential house purchase, visit your local shop today and speak to one of our experienced property experts.