HomeServe Shares the Top 10 Things to Look for When Buying a New Home

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The summer months are peak house hunting time. But the desire to get onto the property ladder means that many may overlook some of the key factors to consider when choosing a new home.


This is not just home emergency insurance; this is home emergency insurance through HomeServe. We are specialists in this field. That means we have our own trained and vetted tradesmen and specialist claims handlers.

The summer months are peak house hunting time. But the desire to get onto the property ladder means that many may overlook some of the key factors to consider when choosing a new home.

Estate agents may preach the importance of location, location, location, but there are smaller, and just as important, things to watch out for too.

With over 25 years’ experience and more than 2,700 engineers working 24/7, HomeServe has pooled the advice of its experts to reveal the things every buyer should consider before preparing to sign on the dotted line.

1. Water pressure

Low water pressure is a nuisance. It makes washing up difficult, can cause drainage problems and means that your daily shower will be a mere trickle. Always test the pressure by turning on and off the showers and taps in the house.

2. Damp

Each year, the average home in the UK copes with around 25,000 gallons of rain water. With that and condensation, it is no surprise that damp can become a big problem for many. Tell-tale signs are: discolouration or even mould on the walls and peeling paint and wallpaper. If a property seems freshly decorated ask why – and check that the external walls have been damp proofed.

3. Boiler

Getting your boiler serviced should be one of the first things you do when you move to a new property. When viewing a new home ask when it was last checked. It may be the summer, but run the boiler – all your radiators should be the same temperature at the top and bottom and those furthest from the boiler should be as warm as the others. Also listen out for any noises coming from the boiler, which can be a sign of limescale build up.
Another thing is to check the pressure gauge, making sure it measures between 1 and 2 bar. Too little pressure in the system will lead to an inefficient heating system, wasting money and causing unnecessary wear on your boiler.

4. Plug sockets

Everyone knows how annoying it is when there aren’t enough plug sockets in the house. More importantly, check that you have a good number of outlets in each room so that you don’t end up overloading sockets with extension leads and extra plugs, as this can lead to fires. You should also make sure they are in good working order and coming away from the wall.

5. Security

It might seem obvious but lots of people forget to check that there are proper lock systems on all of the doors and windows. When moving into a new home you could also consider getting the locks changed - you have no way of knowing who the former owner may have given their old spare keys to.

6. Windows

Think about replacing old single pane glass windows, with double glazed ones. Without proper windows, you can end up not only with security problems, but also with draft, damp and condensation issues. Newer windows often have better security locks too.

7. Working kitchen appliances

Test all the big appliances like the oven, fridge and washing machines, to ensure they are in good working order. No one wants to move in to find that they can’t cook a proper meal on the first night in their new home.

8. Evidence of pest damage

Getting rid of pests in the home can be a lengthy – and costly – process so it’s a good idea to check for any evidence of pests before you move. Key things to look out for are: cable damage, droppings, noises such as scratching or rustling in the attic and moth damage to carpets or soft furnishings.

9. Guttering

Check that there are no overhanging trees near your guttering – falling leaves can block them, leading to flooding and roof damage. It’s also worth checking that it’s in good condition, without cracks or missing parts.

10. Extractor fans

Extractor fans are important for ventilation – check that any shower/bathrooms have an extractor fan. If there is no fan, ensure there is a window for proper ventilation. Run the shower and the fan at the same time to make sure it’s effective, and listen out for any tell-tale signs of blockages or obstruction.

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Famena Nawaz
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