Thursday, August 13, 2009

Buying a house: The outside of the house – Part 2

The Woodwork and light fixtures
  • Check door frames. If it’s metal, check for rusting and if it’s wooden, check for rotting. Also check for gaps between the frame and the wall and also the condition of the wall, e.g. cracks.
  • Inspect the window frames on the outside of the house. If has not been looked after, it might just need to be treated. If the frames are badly damaged, it would probably need to be replaced.
  • Check to see how many light fixtures are outside. You many need to add extra fittings. Ensure that the light fixtures that are there are in working condition.
The Garage
  • If the house has a garage, ensure that you can go in and look. If it’s locked, make sure that the estate agent opens it.
  • If the garage is attached to the house and has an inter-leading door into the house, check it thoroughly. The wall between the garage and the house has to adhere to strict building codes.
  • Check the condition of the garage door. Is the door remote controlled and does it work? Is the house alarm connected to the garage?
The garden
  • Large trees close to a house always makes me a bit nervous. Speak to a professional about the type of tree the house has and what potential damage it could do. Some large trees could damage pipes and the foundation of houses. Ever seen a large tree growing on a pavement and it has destroyed that part of the pavement completely?
  • If there is a garden, it will need to be maintained. It might not be the type of garden you like, so think about what enhancements you could do to the garden.
  • If the house has a pool, check that it is in working condition. If has dirty water in it, the pump might not be working. There could be cracks in the pool that would need repairing.
  • Check the landscape of the garden. If it’s been uncared for, you would need to do quite a bit of work to get it all pretty again. Also, check the condition of the paving.
  • What type of outside security does this house offer? Is the front enclosed? Does it have railings or a wooden fence?
  • Check the condition of the wooden fence for rotting and weathering. It may just need to be treated or it might need to be replaced.
  • If it’s a metal fence, then it should be galvanized to prevent rusting.
  • Are the walls high enough (including those between your neighbours)? If there is an open field at the back of your house, you would need to take some additional measures to prevent unauthorized access onto your property.


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