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Buyer beware: red flags to look out for when househunting

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By IMAGE
28th Sep 2018
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Buyer beware: red flags to look out for when househunting

Your first home is probably the biggest purchase you’ll ever make. When out househunting, you don’t want to be taking a quick glance.

There are some really great tips out there for scrutinising a home during a viewing, such as turning any music off so you can hear noisy planes overhead or the Dart rattling by. Or making a phone call- do you really want to live in a house with no phone signal or Instagram access?

Don’t be fooled by the smell of baking or hot coffee, the neighbour’s Pomeranian that the seller borrowed to distract you from the tiny bedrooms or the cool sofa – these things won’t be here if you buy the house, but the mould you missed will.

Here are some red flags to look out for at your next house viewing.

Rotted wood
Make sure to take a good look around – check out the walls, the windows, the ceilings and the door frames. Any staining or discolouration? Do the timbers look damaged in any way? Check vulnerable areas of timber, such as window and door frames, for signs of rot.

READ MORE: Eleven lessons I learned when buying my first house

Bad repairs
Any paint jobs that don’t fit the condition or decoration of the rest of the home or room? Can you smell fresh paint? It might be an effort to hide a bad repair or damp.

Plumbing issues
Flush the toilet and turn the taps on. Check the hot and cold water – this might tell you how the boiler and water pressure is.

READ MORE: Top tips to know before applying for your first mortgage

Damp
Make sure the walls are flat and check for ripples in wallpaper, discolouring or staining on the walls or dodgy timber frames. This might indicate leaking or damp.

Mould
Wood that’s around moisture can rot over time so check out vulnerable areas – scrutinise the kitchen, countertops, floors, bathroom and bath surrounding – for signs of mould. If there’s wood in the exterior, like a decking, check that out too.

READ MORE: A very simple glossary of mortgage terms

Insulation issues
Touch the walls and floors – they should feel dry and warm. Put a finger on the window – condensation could mean poor insulation.

To give their customers one less thing to think about when purchasing their first home, Ulster Bank are offering a free valuation with their new First Five Mortgage – Just one of the five great benefits for first time buyers*.

*One free valuation per new mortgage customer. A valuer will be nominated for you from Ulster Bank’s valuation panel.

Maximum loan to value is 90%. Security and insurance required. Product fees may apply. Over 18s only and properties in the Republic of Ireland only. Lending criteria, terms and conditions apply. Credit facilities subject to repayment capacity and financial status. Loan to income criteria applies.

 

Ulster Bank Ireland DAC is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. For more information on Ulster Bank’s First Five Mortgage, check out ulsterbank.ie.