Top 5 Things to Check in a New House

by Editor on December 21, 2013

There are so many things that can potentially go wrong with a house purchase, especially in regards to the building structure and services. Sometimes a property may appear perfectly adequate during early buying stages but deficiencies may be discovered after further investigation.

Electrical Hazard/ Shock Risk/ SWA not earthed

A professional home surveyor can conduct all the important checks on your behalf, although they can charge a fair amount for their services. However, if you can spot defects in the house yourself, this will probably mean you don’t need to splash out for a surveyor and can move on to viewing the next property. To put it another way, spending money on a surveyor for a building you will ultimately not purchase will be simply wasted.

Therefore, understanding a few basic tell-tale signs of a building’s condition can save you plenty of time, hassle and also money during the buying process. Here are 5 top things to check when viewing a property.

The Structure

Although performing a comprehensive and qualified check on the building’s structure is not possible yourself, basic visual examinations can be carried out. Check to see if walls are square at corners and if any DIY improvements have been carried out previously. Also, put pressure on floorboards to see if they flex under even slight pressure.

Water Systems

Inspect drainpipes and guttering systems to see how and where water empties from the building. Does the ground surrounding the building slope away from the house, or ominously towards the basement? Another good tip that anyone can implement is to check the water itself from taps. Perform a taste test and visual inspection for any potential problems.


The heating installation is one of the most important considerations when it comes to surveying a house, especially if you’re moving in during the winter. Inspect the condition of the boiler or water heating device and check how efficiently it warms the building. Ask questions such as- are there certain areas of the house that aren’t efficiently heated? Test radiators with your hand to see if they are working properly. Insulation is an important part of the heating system also; check in lofts and walls to see if they’re properly covered.


Of course, testing lights and plug sockets is a simple test that anyone can perform but you should also inspect the electrical box, lights points, switches and sockets for any signs of deterioration. Frayed wires or fire hazards can also be spotted with attentive checks. If concerned about the electrics, you should employ a professional electrician to inspect all parts of the electrical installation so the house is safe to live in. The house seller should also be able to produce certificates for any electrical work that they have had carried out.

You can find any equipment and advice you may need for this at this electrician’s blog site and their advice here.

Basic Checks

For inexperienced buyers, the scale of checks may be overwhelming at first but try and do as many simple examinations as possible. For example, flush toilets to see how they perform and open windows to see how straightforward they are. Looking out for mould, either underneath carpets or wallpaper, is another recommended tip.

A large percentage of homes in the UK date back to pre-1945 so obviously will need thorough testing before any contract is signed. Likewise, just because a property is new doesn’t necessarily mean it will be faultless. Perform as many simple inspections as you can before employing the services of professional surveyors; they may not be needed at all if your checks have deemed the property insufficient, thus saving you money.

There are more tips and guides to look at online at these sites:

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