House Hunting

When you’re on the lookout for your dream home, it can be very easy to be swayed by gorgeous interiors and cosmetic details. But often, there may be pitfalls and red flag signs lurking beneath pristine paint jobs and brand new tiles in the bathroom. If you are on a house hunting mission, don’t judge a book by its cover. Here are some pitfalls to avoid.


Damp is a very common problem, especially in older homes. Sometimes, it’s possible to detect an odor when you walk in the room, but if there are candles burning or the owner has gone to town with room spray, it may not be possible to smell that musty odor. Damp can also cause patches to form on the walls and ceilings, but these may be concealed with plaster or paint.

If you do spot discolored patches while house hunting, or you think there may be a chance that the house has a problem with damp, it’s worth noting that it is possible to contact experts in water damage repair. It’s advisable to get to the bottom of the extent of the issue and get some quotes before you make a decision whether or not to buy the property, as you don’t want to end up with unexpected bills. In some cases, damp can be a sign of underlying problems with the roof or the structure of the walls, which can be very costly to remedy.

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Leaning walls

If you notice that the walls are leaning or the floors are sloping, this may indicate issues with the foundations. Sometimes, it’s possible to repair these problems fairly easily, but it’s incredibly beneficial to have a full structural survey done before you make a decision. House hunting requires a lot of due diligence! 

Multiple for sale signs

If you go and see a house, and you notice a bunch of for sale signs on the drive, this may set alarm bells ringing. It usually means that the house has been up for sale for a long time and the owners are having a hard time getting rid of it. Approach with caution. Sometimes, there’s a very good reason why vendors want to sell quickly, for example, they may be relocating for work at short notice, but be vigilant.

Botched DIY jobs

If there are doors hanging off their hinges, broken gates in the backyard or loose floor boards, this may suggest that the previous owner hasn’t devoted much care and attention to DIY jobs. It’s easy and inexpensive to paint walls and fix doors, but be wary of electrical and roofing jobs, which look suspect. If an amateur has attempted a task, and not done the best job, this could cost you in the long-run, and there may also be safety concerns.

When you buy a home, the last thing you want is to be greeted with a long list of expensive jobs that need doing urgently. Unless you’re keen to take on a project, look out for potential pitfalls on every viewing. Try not to be bowled over by the way the house is presented or the smell of freshly-baked cookies. Look at the walls, the ceilings, and the floors. Search for signs of damp or structural damage, and always have a survey done.