4 costly mistakes that house hunters are making

New research1 by TrustMark, the government-endorsed scheme to help people find reputable trading companies, has provided shocking insights into what house hunters are failing to check for before buying a property.

  • 53% don’t check to see if a new boiler has been installed
  • 62% don’t look for signs of damp
  • 66% don’t check drainage
  • 72% don’t test the water pressure

What’s more, over 40% of people only get a basic survey, leaving a greater potential for major home improvement requirements to be overlooked.

Oversights are expensive to correct, with many new homeowners facing bills of more than £2,900 to fix the plumbing and electricity issues within their property.

Liz Male, chairman of TrustMark, said: “Of course everybody wants a beautiful home and there are lots of things to consider when making such a huge commitment, but house hunters must take a reality check and avoid rushing into a purchase based on ‘love at first sight’.

“When the rose-tinted spectacles go on, we look past things we don’t want to see, even things that can be seen with an untrained eye such as old boilers, damp and old wiring. These can all turn into expensive pieces of work to take on, especially after the enormous outlay of a house purchase.”

So, before you commit to purchasing your new home, remember to do the following:

  1. Check heating and boiler efficiency ratings
  2. Hold your hand up against doors and windows to endure they are well insulated and no drafts are present
  3. Inspect the garden for troublesome tree roots that could affect pipework
  4. Check that all electric and gas appliances are correctly fitted
  5. Look at and smell outdoor guttering to detect blockages
  6. Keep an eye out for tide marks, which could indicate the property is at risk of flooding
  7. Test taps, toilet flushes and showerheads for water pressure problems
  8. Look for signs of rot, mould or damp, such as peeling wallpaper

1 Heating & Plumbing Monthly, 2015. House hunters ruled by heart over head, leading to surprise maintenance costs. [Online] Available at: http://www.hpmmag.com/news/7731. [Accessed 29th April 2015].

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