Questions to Ask When Buying a House, Home or Other Property

This is a checklist of questions to ask when buying a house or other property. Some of the questions to ask may seem obvious but it is surprising how easily they can be forgotten in the excitment of viewing your potential new home. It is not a substitute for the work a qualified surveyor would carry out, but rather a general insight into the amount of work that would need done.

More Questions to Ask When Buying a House - part a

Before you buy a house, view a local map to identify potential problems, such as mains roads, railway lines or sports grounds.

Look at general position. Is the house you will buy on a slope? Will large amounts of water run in during heavy rain? Are there any large trees within 3m which might cause structural problems?

Stand far back and inspect the pitched ridge of the roof with binoculars. Is there sagging? Are the tiles lying neatly? Is the chimney straight?

Examine any flat roofs from an upstairs window.



More Questions to Ask When Buying a House or Home - part b

1. Roof: Tiled Slate

2. Felt: CrackedOldSaggingPoorAdequateGood

3. Chimney: BrickMasonry Needs RepairRepointingRemoving

4. Look at the sofit, the wood surrounding the roof, and guttering:
Wood RottingBrokenLooseNeeds Painting
Gutters and downpipes: LooseLeakingOpen JointsOld MetalNeed Cleaning

5. Are the walls and chimney breasts straight and square? Any bowing? (think again!)
Are there any large cracks running up the walls?
Small cracks are not necessarily an indication of a major problem, but, could be an indication of building movement that happened some time ago and is not a problem now. A qualified Surveyor will tell you.



More Questions to Ask When Buying a House - part c

6. Are there any large cracks running up the walls?Small cracks are not necessarily an indication of a major problem, but, could be an indication of building movement that happened some time ago and is not a problem now. A qualified Surveyor will tell you.

7. Are there water marks on the walls from leaking pipes?

8. Are the exterior walls Brick or Concrete?
What condition are they in? GoodAdequatePoor With vines growing?

9. Is there double glazing?
Are the windows WoodAluminiumRottenBrokenIn Need of Repainting?
Do the windows open and close alright?

10. Is the porch PoorAdequateGood?



More Questions to Ask When Buying a House - part d

11. Is there a garage? NoneAttachedDetached
Is the garage PoorAdequateGood?

12. Is the driveway UnevenBrokenPoorAdequateGood?

13. Are the pathways PoorAdequateGood?

14. Is the garden PoorAdequateGood?

15. Are the steps PoorAdequateGood?



More Questions to Ask When Buying a House - part e

16. Is the front door Double glazedNeeding RepaintedPoorAdequateGood?

17. Are the walls or fences in need of repair?
Do the neighbours let you paint the fence their side?

18. Are there any trees affecting the property?

19. Look up in the roof. Is there loft insulation?

20. Look at all the woodwork, particularly under the stairs. Does it have small holes - are there signs of woodworm infestation or rot?
If so, has the problem been treated, and is there a certificate to say so?



More Questions to Ask When Buying a House - part f

21. How old is the gas/electric boiler? Are there any warranties or guarantees? Does it have a thermostat?
What condition is the boiler in? PoorAdequateGood?
Donít be shy; ask if you may turn on the taps. Is the pressure OK - bathroom and kitchen?
Remember you are contemplating buying a property in which you will live for many years!

22. How long does it take to get hot water? Does it have a thermostat?

23. Is the water flow Adequate or Low?

24. Are the pipes Copper or Plastic?
Is their condition PoorAdequateGood?


25. Are the drains Cast Iron Plastic or Lead?
Is their condition PoorAdequateGood?



More Questions to Ask When Buying a House - part g

26. Has the property been rerwired? When?

27. Do all doors open and close properly?

28. Is the heating by Radiators or Storage Heaters?
Is their condition PoorAdequateGood?

29. Look at all the rooms.
Are the ceilings cracked?
Is there evidence of past leaks?
Are there signs of damp?
Is there any peeling or flaking paint?
Are the skirting boards cracked, chipped or missing?
How many sockets are there in each room?
Is the floor WoodCarpetedTiledOtherSqueakySagging or sloping?
Are the cupboards PoorAdequateGood?

30. Go to the bathroom. Is the tiling PoorAdequateGood?
Is the suite PoorAdequateGood?

 

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