How to avoid buying someone else’s problem. Questions to ask when looking to buy a house.

You may have bought property before or you may be new to it all. The most important things when buying property is that you know as much about the property as possible to avoid buying a mistake. You can do your research online, but nothing beats finding out the answers to your questions in person. Here are some important things we think you should look into when buying a home.


Inside each room

Do the light switches work?

What's the décor like, both style and condition-wise?

Is the flooring in good condition?

Is there a good level of natural light?

Are there any signs of damp/mould/condensation?

Even if you can't see any, can you smell it?

Are there any exposed wires?

If there are cracks in the walls/ceiling, are any big enough to put the edge of a 10p in?

How many power sockets are there and are they conveniently located?

Is there much storage?

Are any fireplaces functional and do chimneys work?

Are you very overlooked by neighbouring properties?


Windows and doors

Do they open and close easily?

Are the windows single/double/triple glazed?

Are the frames in good condition?

Do the locks work and are there keys?


Do the taps work?

How long does it take for hot water to come through?

How strong is the water pressure in the shower?

Is there a bath?

Is there a shaver socket?

Is there a window? If not, does the extractor fan work?



How much work/maintenance is required?

How overlooked is it?

What direction does it face? (South-facing gets the most sun).

Are any roots from large trees going to cause structural problems?

Is there a clear and visible divide between the garden and neighbours?

Is there a shed or garage?

Are they in good condition?

Do they have power?


Exterior brickwork

What are the general condition and age like?

Are there any cracks?

If the wall is rendered (covered with a coat of plaster), what is its condition?



Are there any missing/cracked tiles?

Are the chimneys straight?

What state are the drains and gutters in –are they clean, new, moving the water correctly if it's raining?

Do the facias (wooden section under roof) look OK?

How old is the current roof?

Will it need replacing soon, or does it dip at any points?



What is the heating system? Electric or gas?

Are there radiators or storage heaters installed?

Where is the boiler? If it's in a bedroom, is it noisy?

How old is it and what's its service history?

Are there working burglar and fire alarms?

What broadband and TV connections are currently set up?

What's the mobile phone coverage like?

Is there a loft?

If so, how easy is it to access and might there be scope to convert it in the future?

When was the consumer unit/fuse box last checked, and how old is it?

Is it in a conservation area or a listed building? This might affect whether you can make changes.

What council tax band is the property in?



Is there a garage, off-road or on-road parking?

If on-road, will you need a permit?

Parking is often a crucial factor, but can often be overlooked by buyers.

Is there much scope for extending/renovating/adding value?



What is the property's energy performance certificate (EPC) rating?

Can you see planning permission and sign-off documents for any work that’s been done?


Local area

What’s the area like at rush hour, when the pubs close, at weekends and on weekdays?

If you live near a rat-run or school, this could hamper your work commute in the mornings?

Public transport links?

Test the commute/school run during rush hour.

Where are the local shops and amenities?

Is surrounding land poised to be built on in the coming years?

Are there any ongoing planning applications you should be aware of?


Taken from an article published by WHICH updated January 2023.