For most of us, buying a home is the biggest purchase we’ll ever make. Sure, we don’t pay money up front, but you better believe you’ll be forking out the cold hard cash if something goes wrong.
The real trick is to identify these problems as early as possible and ideally before you even buy the property. This way you can avoid the nasty, expensive traps that can cost thousands to put right and instead enjoy the rest of your days in your dream home.
Here are 3 tips to help you identify any warning signs when buying second hand homes in Ireland.
Is there any damp?
This tip might seem very obvious, but it’s worth pointing out because there are not many more prominent warning signs of a huge maintenance bill in the future than rising damp. The general damp smell is a tell-tale sign, but also keep an eye out for any discolouration on the walls.
Any signs of damp upstairs might explained by a malfunctioning guttering system and can easily rectified, but always discuss it with the estate agent. Long term damp can cause serious issues with the house, leading to the structure rotting and severely devaluing the house.
What is the condition of the roof?
The roof plays a crucial part in ensuring that the outside elements do not work their way into your home. It’s for this reason that you need to pay extra attention to be certain that the roof is going to do its job for many years to come.
Pitched roofs are ideal because water and snow slide right down them but be wary of any leaks that might have caused the timber underneath to rot. Flat roofs pose more of a risk because they are more likely to hold moisture which can cause the surface to degrade and let water in quickly.
However sometimes these issues aren’t always foreseeable; you might purchase a house, and a problem can arise which makes it unliveable, such as the roof has given way or even a serious crime has been committed and essential items were stolen. To prepare for this event, you should buy home insurance in Ireland like one offered by AA Ireland that offers alternative accommodation if such a problem did arise.
Are the windows single glazed and/or is the frame cracked?
Single glazed, poor quality windows are a huge indication of a big bill on the horizon when buying second hand homes in Ireland. Double glazed or even triple glazed windows pays dividends over time due to the amount that is saved on heating bills. Not only that, pay attention to the quality of the window frames.
If they haven’t been protected with paint or something similar recently, then there’s a chance they have started to degrade and could need replacing. Be mindful that, sometimes painting over damaged windows might make them look better. But often it’s a superficial improvement and does not help to prevent future damage and weathering.