Top tips for house hunters this winter

Avoid unexpected problems in your new home by following these top tips

Avoid unexpected problems in your new home by following these top tips - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Two-thirds of home owners say they’ve had unexpected problems after moving into a new property.

Everything from broken boilers to faulty windows can prove problematic for people moving into a new home, according to research from Sarah Beeny’s estate agency,

Here are Beeny’s tips to help people avoid any nasty surprises which, if spotted, could help buyers to negotiate on the price:

1. Be boiler aware

A busted boiler can be a nightmare - and replacements don’t come cheap. Have a good look at the boiler and ask the seller or agent how old it is and whether it’s been regularly serviced. An old boiler with no service history is a potential money pit. Check out radiators too. If the heating’s off, ask the seller to switch it on so you can check each radiator works. Do the same with hot taps.

2. Investigate the electrics

Old electrics can be dangerous – and expensive and messy to replace. If they’re over 15 years old or the current owner doesn’t know the age, it could be worth getting an electrical survey done. You can also get a good idea about the state of the electrics by looking at the sockets and fuse box - if they look old, then the rest of the electrics could be too.

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3. Check the pipes

Plumbing problems can be hard to spot, but leaks can be devastating. Look at walls and ceilings - if they’re stained with water marks or are showing signs of damp, it could be a sign of leaking pipes. Ask the seller about anything suspicious and make sure you get a good survey done before completing a house purchase.

4. Watch the windows

Broken and faulty windows can be hugely expensive to repair and replace, so check them. Make sure all windows open and close properly and take a close look at seals to make sure they’re intact and working.