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Residential Surveyors: Homebuyers Beware of Hidden Problems

There are a ton of things to think about when buying a new home. Is the price right, is the property located in a nice neighbourhood, are there any good schools nearby, etc.  After all, you probably aren’t planning to move any time soon. For that reason, it is of utmost importance to make sure that you don’t miss a single thing. And that includes hidden problems with the property. According to residential surveyors, these are unfortunately very common when it comes to both old houses and relatively new residential buildings. And they are nearly impossible to detect if you’re not an expert. To make things worse, they can be very costly to repair or even dangerous.

Listed below are some of the most common property issues and faults reported by residential surveyors to homebuyers:

Mould and moisture

The good news is that both mould and moisture are very easy to spot. However, any signs of problems are usually carefully removed before the property is put on the market. But this doesn’t mean the problem is no longer there. Since the root cause of moisture can be very difficult and expensive to eliminate, vendors often simply clean the mould and repaint the affected rooms/areas, hoping that buyers and surveyors won’t notice anything.

Plumbing issues

Photo credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Examples include outdated plumbing system, leaks, water heater problems, and sewer pine breaks/leaks, to name just a few. Some can be relatively easy to repair without any major expenses but if you need any extensive work or to replace the entire plumbing system, you will obviously have to reach deep in your pocket.

Problems with electrical wiring

There is no way for you to see the condition of electrical installation. If it wasn’t tested and found to comply with the latest electrical safety standards and requirements, there may or may not be any problems. But in the former case, you are not only facing a potentially very expensive upgrade/wiring replacement. You are also putting yourself and your family in serious danger. While house fires due to problems with electrical wiring have become much rarer, electrical faults remain one of the most common causes of accidental fires in UK homes.

Structural problems and defects

These are typically manifested in the form of cracks and crevices on the walls or/and ceiling. But since they can turn off potential buyers, vendors almost always have them repaired. The cracks and crevices, not the structural problems and defects that are causing them. These can occur for a variety of reasons including movement, subsidence, poor drainage, trees growing too close to the house, and others. The good news is that in most cases, structural problems and defects are not severe and don’t pose a safety threat. However, they can be very expensive to repair.

Damaged, poorly installed or outdated roof

Problems with the roof usually aren’t difficult to detect as they can result in a host of other problems, ranging from leaking to falling tiles and shingles. These, however, occur only when the damage is severe or the roof has already started to decay.  Just because there aren’t any signs of problems yet that doesn’t necessarily mean the roof is in good condition.

As you can see, there are plenty of good reasons why it’s a good idea to consider hiring an independent residential surveyor to inspect the property for hidden problems before buying. This will obviously increase the overall cost of your new home but considering that they can help you detect costly to repair and potentially very dangerous faults and defects, it’s a very smart investment.

Feature image credit: StockCube/Shutterstock

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