Starter for ten: Kirsty McLuckie on the key questions which could save you thousands when viewing

Asking the right questions could save thousands of pounds after you move in Asking the right questions could save thousands of pounds after you move in
Asking the right questions could save thousands of pounds after you move in | Monkey Business - stock.adobe.co
Neglecting to make the right enquiries when sizing up a potential house purchase is a common mistake, but one that could be costly

As a young first-time buyer on a tight budget, the only question I ever remembered to ask at a viewing was: “Is anyone else interested?”

If it were a second visit, more often than not the seller would answer that they had recently shown round a middle-aged couple who seemed keen.

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They may have been expecting a bidding war between us. I knew they were most likely referring to my parents, who would always book an appointment to check out all the important information they felt I neglected to investigate in my naive enthusiasm.

These days, young first-time buyers can be an oxymoron, so for those who don’t have a knowledgeable relative to keep them grounded when viewing, online mortgage brokers Mojo Mortgages has come up with a list of questions to ask, with estimations on how much money each query could save.

Indeed, getting the right answers to all nine queries could save you future expenditure of more than £20,000 – a return better than any daytime TV quiz show – so here we go...

What is the Energy Performance Certificate rating?

While the property listing often includes an EPC rating, it’s important to verify this in person to ensure its accuracy.

Government data shows an EPC “C” rating can boost a property’s value by an average 10 per cent. But only 43 per cent of homes are banded such, and upgrading to achieve it costs an average £7,499.

How old is the boiler, and when was it last serviced?

Boilers typically account for about 60 per cent of heating bills. However, they become more prone to breakdowns and malfunctions as they age.

On average, a boiler lasts between 10 and 15 years depending on how well it’s maintained. Therefore, if the boiler in the place you’re considering buying is nearing this age, it may be wise to budget for a replacement which could cost around £4,500.

Do your windows suffer from condensation?

This can be an indicator of larger underlying issues in the home, such as poor insulation, inadequate ventilation, or excessive indoor moisture. The windows themselves may eventually need to be replaced, which can cost an average £4K.

Are you leaving the carpets?

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Replacing the floor coverings in an entire house comes with an average price tag of £2,200.

​Are you leaving the blinds?

Considering the average house has ten windows, dressing them to keep out the light, keep in the heat, and retain privacy, can cost an average £1,100

Is the house damp-proofed?

If you find such issues once moved in, the cost of a damp-proof course is an average £800.

How is the water pressure?

If it is poor, it may be down to a leaky pipe, with an average repair cost of £370, not including any water damage.

Is the parking free?

On average, a residential parking permit costs £107 per annum.

How fast is the internet?

Ideally, the speed should meet or exceed 200Mbps, or even up to 5,000Mbps if there is a fibre-optic connection. If speeds are slower, you may need to invest in a booster or explore options such as satellite broadband. Prices for advanced boosters range up to £100, and other types of broadband are likely to come at a higher monthly cost.

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