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Whether you're an experienced investor, a first-time homeowner, or simply a professional or student looking to find the perfect base of operation, you should be aware of some of the telltale signs that the property you're looking at might not be as perfect as initially meets the eye.

After all, it's not as simple as plunking down money for a property, right? Like most long-term investments in life, the property game requires research and patience. Your first step in property searching should be to find the best option in your price range. Luckily, many online resources and articles are dedicated to helping you hone in on the best properties. Once you've found a few properties to view, you'll need to check they're up to scratch. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to take with you on your next viewing:

1. Conduct A Detailed Property Search Before You View

The first thing you should do is conduct a detailed online property search before meeting with your estate agent. Doing this means you won't have to spend hours looking at properties you're not interested in. By conducting a property search, you can also find out more about the area you are interested in, such as local schools and crime statistics. To make an educated decision about where you would like to settle down, you must first become familiar with the area. Here are a few tools for this:

2. Inspect The Property Before Renting

It's tempting to jump from property to property when you're just starting. Despite the fact that this may seem like an efficient way to rent, it's not. This is something you should avoid for a few reasons. When you buy an unseen property, you won't be able to inspect the property for any problems or defects. Also, you won't be able to talk to the salespeople, who might have different info. Without an inspection, you'll waste a lot of time renting. Here's a quick list of things to specifically look for:

  • Check for damp spots; this will eventually turn into black mould.

  • Look out for old-fashioned plugs and switches; this could mean the property needs a rewire.

  • Check the boiler! If it looks like it will kick the bucket, it probably will when it gets cold; you could be left scrambling for blankets.

  • Weak toilet flushing alone could lead to frustrations, but it could also indicate pipe clogging.

  • Rotten window frames, whilst also not a nice thing to look at, could indicate that water is seeping in and that they haven't been properly maintained.

3. Stay Up To Date On Safety Regulations

Check out safety regulations; you should always look for properties with a full fire alarm system with sprinklers. It might seem obvious, but many flats are covered by British Standard part 6, which only requires a shared community fire alarm for the lobby and not for the other bedrooms. It will be worth the extra price since the cost of failure is your life - Especially in buildings with cladding.

Additionally, it would be best to look for properties with a reliable, clean water supply.

Keep safety regulations in mind when looking for a property, and consider how you'll feel living in that area. You may want to stay away from neighbourhoods known to be a little rough, even if they're a great deal on the cheap.

Good luck, and happy hunting!


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