Buying a new home is one of the most exciting events in your life, especially if it’s your first one. However, it is possible that your dream house could turn into

a nightmare if you don’t carry out specific checks.

Before signing on the dotted line, make sure you find out how safe the property is. If the house is older, it may have some problems that have developed over the years. Ask for safety certificates for the gas and electric, and if there is a carbon monoxide monitor in place. Check that all the windows conform to current standards and have locks on them to keep your property safe. Some insurance providers insist on window locks before they will cover you.

Although you will expect to carry out some minor repairs and decoration, pay for a professional survey to find out whether anything more substantial needs work. Checks on the roof and structure of the property are required, so you know whether the condition of the property is sound. Although you can make some checks yourself, professionals are required for other aspects of house buying, like a CeMAP qualified mortgage adviser.

Ask the seller whether they have any problems like subsidence or flooding, as issues like this may make it very difficult to obtain insurance. Although a survey should pick up on these issues, the current owner of the property is obliged to inform a buyer of any previous problems.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, as you need all the relevant information to make sure you really are buying the home of your dreams.

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