Buying a home can be one of the most expensive purchases that you ever make in your lifetime. First time buyers trying to get onto the property ladder are scrimping as much as possible just to save for that hefty deposit.

As buying a home is such a huge financial commitment, you want to know that you have made the right choice about the home you buy, so it is important to know exactly what to look for, and what to avoid, when viewing properties. Here is an essential property viewing checklist on key things that you should check for before you make that offer…

First Time Buyers: Property Viewing Checklist

1)What are the foundations of the property like?

If a property’s foundations are messed up, it is going to cost you serious money to fix them. While property experts will be able to give you a comprehensive report on this subject, you can get your own idea of what the foundations of the property are like by checking whether any surfaces have an uneven feel to them.

2)Does the wiring need updating?

Rewiring a property can cost as little as £2,000 to over £10,000. Unless you have budgeted for potential rewiring costs, it is likely that you will want a home that doesn’t require rewiring. When viewing the property remember to ask about the wiring and also take a look at the fuse board.

3) Is there central heating in the property?

With the British weather being as unpredictable as it is, central heating is a necessity in any home. When viewing a property, remember to find out how it is heated, this could be by electrical heating or gas. It is also worth taking a look to see whether the home has energy efficient domestic central heating pump installed. Older heating pumps can drain the home of energy, meaning that you may have to replace it for a newer pump once you move in.

4) Are there any signs of mould?

Mould can be a pricey problem to fix and it is commonly found in older properties. It is generally quite easy to spot the signs of mould as the property will have a general damp smell to it while patches of damp may be visible on the ceiling or walls. Make sure you also look at any areas where previous owners may have tried to cover the signs of mould by painting over it.

5) What is the plumbing like?

Plumbing work in a property can be as cheap as £100 but a complete re-plumbing job can cost thousands of pounds. When viewing the property, flush the toilet, check the water pressure of taps and the shower. Some properties also have a shower pump installed. Grundfos shower pumps provide an enhanced water pressure so remember to check whether the current owners will be taking the pump with them when they move so you know whether to budget for a new pump.