Viewing a property
Once you have found a property you feel you like, make sure you learn as much as possible about it at the viewing. It's a good idea to make notes and possibly take some photos, so properties can be remembered more easily and compared afterwards. If a property is of particular interest and a second viewing is arranged try and view it at a different time of day.
Some easy checks and actions to carry out on a viewing that Mansons would recommend are:
State Of Repair
Insulation: Is the roof well-insulated? Go into the loft and turn off the light - you shouldn't be able to see any patches of day-light. Is there wall-cavity insulation?
Central Heating: Is the central heating system efficient? How old is it? Is it gas or electricity-powered?
Plumbing: Are the pipes and the boiler lagged? How old is the piping? Lead piping will need replacing.
Plug sockets: How old are they? If they are the old-fashioned, round-pin type, re-wiring is something to be seriously considered.
Structural Problems - Inside
Subsidence: Look for cracks in ceilings and walls, doors that stick or don't hang correctly.
Damp: Normally you can smell damp. Also look for mould, walls that are damp to the touch, flaking paintwork or wallpaper that is peeling off, are also signs of damp. Be wary of new paint or wallpaper that could be hiding problems underneath.
Condensation problems: Rotting window frames can be a sign of this. If they are very soft to the touch this means they are rotten. Make sure the bathrooms and kitchen are well ventilated.
Woodworm: Indicated by holes in woodwork.
Structural Problems - Outside
Subsidence: Look for big cracks in the walls, a bent chimney stack, or an uneven roofline.
Damp: Examine for missing roof tiles, and check the brickwork and mortar as cracks can let in damp.
Root damage to foundations: If there are any big trees nearby this could cause problems.
Remember - don't cut corners.?Inspecting the property yourself DOES NOT avoid the need for a professional survey.