It's the dream to buy a perfect property and have no trouble after purchase. This is why People are advised to get a surveyors report. However, even if the surveyors report shows faults you will have already invested in the cost of the report. If you do this with multiple properties this can really add up. To combat this, here are some things you can look out for to spot potential problems.
Ask questions like......
How old is the boiler?
When was the property last rewired?
How old is the roof?
Is there parking?
If the property is a flat or shared building, what is the service charge?
What are the neighbours like?
If the windows are double glazed is there a FENSA certificate for them. If not, when were they done?
What is the area like? (You should also wonder around and visit the area at different times if you are unfamiliar with it).
Things to look out for......
Take pictures as you go around the property or even make a video, it will help you remember the property more accurately after you have left.
Turn lights on and off to check the electrics. Also count the number of socket outlets in the room, are they sufficient for your needs or will you find yourself having to work on the electrics. Rewiring a house can be costly is this a deal breaker?
Open and close all windows, doors and cupboard doors to check that they work and fit
Woodchip or other materials on the wall often hide more serious issues
Check the ceilings and walls for damp and or cracks, dependent on how extensive they are could mean there is a more serious problem.
Lift mats and rugs to check they are not hiding any faults with the flooring.
Run the taps to check the water pressure, and enquire about the condition of the pipes. Lead pipes will need to be replaced. Are the pipes insulated? (This would improve the efficiency of the property).
Have a look at the window frames, are they new, are they rotting, will they need to be replaced. Also, if double glazing has condensation in between the glass then it is no longer effective.
Have a look at the attic, is it big enough for your storage requirements, is their potential for it to be developed into another room. Has it been insulated? An uninsulated loft can make for a very cold house in the winter.
If you are a parent are there any good schools nearby?
If the property is leasehold, find out if you can purchase a share of the freehold, and how much that would be.
Lastly have a look at the reception bars on your phone, is there reception? No one wants to live in a house where it is hard to make a call.
The most important thing when visiting a property is to look at it objectively, do not get distracted with things like strategically placed furniture or nice decor. Focus on how suitable the property is for you, and how much you will need to invest to get the property into a condition that you would like.