Everyone knows how difficult it is to maintain a home. If requires a keen eye for detail (to spot an issue as it arises), and a great deal of experience to sort them. Not to mention the money.
As part of our "We buy any house" series we're writing about some of the common issues that arise for homeowners. Hopefully we can help you spot and sort these. (Although if the problems are really bad and you just want to walk away and let someone else sort them, we can buy your home from you directly).
With that said, lets get into some of the common property defects.
Everything degrades in time, but a homeowner should always take reasonable steps to rectify these problems before they try to sell. Sometimes they don’t though. And one of those problems could well be the state of the wood in the property.
We’re talking exterior primarily, because this is the part of the building that is constantly exposed to the elements.
What to look for;
- Rotten window sills - Are they cracking or peeling?
- Moisture traps - Is there a flat roof (these are notorious for rotting timber)? Is there any wood that is wet to the touch or 'stained' by water?
- Rotten wood at the base - This will be quite easy to spot as it is very unsightly
For perhaps rather obvious reasons, older properties have more significant problems compared to newer properties. These properties often contain harmful substances like asbestos, and some of the walls in older homes had lead-lined paint as part of the decoration.
You can see signs of mould, but you can’t necessarily ‘spot’ lead paint. The UK government has made its position on lead paint clear, and created guidance to help buyers be aware of the problem. The guide confirms that older properties will most likely contain lead. So the age of your home is a good guide. If it was built before the 1960s and still has original coats of paint, there could be some lead around.
Gutters and the mess in them
If you’ve ever walked down a street and seen some houses that have less than attractive gutters, you’ll know just how important these things are for drainage. Messy, clogged gutters looks like the sellers are just not making the effort to look after the property, these type of house defects have the possibility to turn buyers off.
There is also a more catastrophic possibility though. If gutters are diverting rainwater it will settle. And directly beneath a roof that is full of water is the ceiling of one of your living spaces.
The water builds up and you end up with damp.
If you see any part of the interior with damp on the ceiling, you need to know what’s going on.
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