Buying a house is the most expensive purchase most of us will ever make. But it is also one that can be ruled by the heart much more than the head.
Quick Move Now speaks to two people who explain how getting that special warm and fuzzy feeling when you walk into ‘the’ house can mean that you forget everything else when you are viewing it.
And this can be dangerous, as newly-weds Andrew and Fiona Long found out…
We thought we had found our perfect house; perfect location; just about perfect price; and no major work to do. But how wrong were we?!
We planned to decorate and put in new carpets and we also knew we would need to replace the en-suite and the kitchen as they were really old. But once we actually moved in and started renovating we unearthed problem upon problem. What should have been a few large, but relatively simple jobs, ended up costing us around £10,000 more to put right.
Once the couple had taken out the old kitchen, it became apparent that it was dangerous and would need rewiring, along with all the sockets in the house and the fuse board.
“The whole kitchen was being run off one socket and around the rest of the house, rather than wiring a new socket in correctly it was literally just a wire running from an existing socket to an external socket placed somewhere around the room,” says Andrew.
“Obviously all the wiring issues were hidden by the kitchen and other things placed in front of sockets around the house when we went for viewings. But the fuse board was a mistake on our part as we did not think to look at it.”
They encountered more problems when trying to take up the flooring upstairs in order to get to the kitchen ceiling for the rewiring. They discovered it was chipboard underneath and therefore incredibly difficult to get up. While battling to rip it out, they cut through a water pipe, before Fiona’s father fell completely through the floor and therefore the kitchen ceiling! More mess and more money.
After they had peeled back layer upon layer of nicotine-stained wallpaper they also found it was actually this wallpaper that was bonding the plaster to the walls.
When the wallpaper was removed, massive holes around the window appeared as well. It appears that the previous owner had got the windows replaced on the cheap so they actually didn’t fit snugly and were never sealed correctly. Sorting that out was another job we had to do which we hadn’t anticipated.
It was stressful and hard work initially, but we do now have a beautiful home that we are very proud of, especially as we had to do most of the work ourselves to keep the unknown costs as low as possible.
Our advice to anyone viewing houses is to really look closely at every little detail. It may appear petty at the time, but could save you a lot of money in the long run.
And they aren’t the only ones to have learned the hard way either…
Debra and Simon Wells relocated from Berkshire to Warwick nearly six years ago and mum-of-one Debra says she still hasn’t really warmed to the new home since the first day fiasco.
Our move was totally spoilt by how dirty the previous owners had left the house and garden. There was thick dust in all the cupboards and the bathroom, shower and shower door were left really grubby.
They left old carpets, boxes and other stuff in the loft and the amount of rubble and rubbish left in the garden was appalling. It was all hidden by the garden shed and trees when we went to view the house, so we hadn’t noticed it.
Even the cleaners we got in to help said they had never seen a sold house left in such a bad way!
I was never really able to warm to the place after that start, even with the numerous updates we did to try and make it feel like home.
Debra says that she will now always look behind every tree and shed and in every nook and cranny when viewing a house in the future.
Wise words from the people who have been there, done that and got the big bills to prove it.
So make sure you really look at everything when viewing a potential new home, because even your dream property can turn into the house from hell!