The Essential Checklist for Buying a House


Buying a house may be one of the biggest purchases you’re going to make, and the process of looking, contemplating and buying can be incredibly stressful. Attending an open house is a daunting task for anyone, whether it’s on your own, with a partner, your first open or your tenth. Therefore, we’ve compiled a checklist for when you’re ever in doubt.

Look at the Building

When you pull up outside the building, make sure to take in the neighbourhood (are you near a pub/school/shops) and stand outside. It’s important to feel as if you’re arriving home because if you consider the outside an eyesore and not to your liking, you may as well move onto the next. You need a house you’re proud to own.

If you find yourself instantly falling in love, make sure you don’t get blind sighted. Check the walls, roof, gutters and drain holes. If they’re easy to solve and won’t cause bankruptcy then fixing them won’t be a problem. However, if you can’t afford it, consider another property.


It’s essential to ask whether there have been any past issues with damp, or if there are any current damp spots festering in your potential home-to-be. Damp isn’t only unattractive to look at, but it can also affect your health. If you move in without noticing this problem then there’s very little you can do to seek compensation.

Damp is essentially moisture and water being where it shouldn’t be. A few causes often include leaking pipes, rising moisture from the soil and permeable brickwork. If left untreated then it could cost you thousands.

Check the Water

Turn on the tap. Check whether the hot water is working (it can indicate the condition of the boiler) and consider the strength of the water’s pressure. Also, check the smell and aesthetics of your water as it should neither smell or be cloudy/opaque.

Sometimes the quality of your water can alter after purchase. Therefore, if you have issues similar to Flint water contamination and are in need of financial compensation, consider

Be Wary of Map Cracking

The internal wall plastering can be easily checked and should never be ignored. Fine hairline cracks (A.K.A map cracking) are created because of the incorrect application of wall plastering when the house was constructed. If one room happens to have cracks, then you will usually find them in other areas of the property. If left untreated, the plaster can become loose and cause large holes to appear or turn into “alligator cracking.”

Ask the Age of the Roof

Replacing a roof is an expensive task, and if the roof has been well maintained, then it can last thirty years or more. Plus, modern roofs have been reported to last one ten or so years typically. Make sure to ask the seller how old the roof is, check the gutters and drainage systems, and be on the lookout for rot often caused by poor ventilation.

If you believe you’ve found “the one,” it’s worth the extra cost of bringing in a surveyor. They can double check how sound your future house is and whether there are any deal-breaking issues that could cost you thousands down the line.

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