When you're buying a home, it’s important to double check the little details for yourself – even if the seller assures you that everything's in order. Before you decide to put in an offer, here’s a list of the things you should prod, tap or turn on during a viewing.
Open the cupboards
It might feel a bit like you're snooping, but it's important to make sure there's enough storage space. Ask if you can have a look in the loft, too. While you're up there, check out the insulation.
Turn on the taps
As well as checking that all the taps work, this will allow you to test the water pressure and see how long it takes to heat up. This way you can see if the boiler's in a good state, or if it needs servicing.
Flick the light switches
This is an easy way to make sure that all the electrics are in working order. If you're buying a heritage property, take note of whether the switches are the old bakelite ones. This could be a sign that the wiring is in need of an upgrade.
Look at the ceiling and skirting boards
This is where you're most likely to spot the telltale signs of damp. As well as flaky plaster and old watermarks, look out for condensation on windows. If in doubt, use your nose. The musty smell of damp is hard to cover up.
Open and close the windows
Check that they move smoothly and that tilt-and-turn windows open in both directions. Also make sure that they close properly too – you don't want draughts.
Pull furniture away from the wall
Furniture can be used to hide wall cracks and other damage. Take a quick peek behind sofas and beds and, if something doesn't look right, ask for a closer look. Rugs can be used to hide broken floorboards or other issues, so ask the seller if you can lift or move them.
Look for plug sockets
In today's gadget-mad world it's important to have enough plug sockets for every device so keep note of how many sockets are in each room. As with the light switches, try to gauge how old they are.
If you do notice some issues, you don't need to walk away. After all, a fixer-upper could be the best option for your dream home. Make sure you know what you're getting into when you buy, and budget the cost of repairs when you make an offer.