Brits spend £4,936.37 on fixing issues once they’ve moved into their home

A house is probably the biggest purchase you’ll ever make in your life, so you want to make sure you choose the right one.

But the fact is that you’ll likely only visit the property a couple of times, spending no more than half an hour inside, before making the big decision. And with so many things to consider, it can be hard to check absolutely everything you know you should – or remember to ask those all-important questions.

If you’ve bought a house and only realised there’s a massive issue once you’ve got the keys, rest assured you’re not alone. Here are the biggest issues that house viewers fail to spot…

77% of house buyers only found a fault once they’d moved in

The biggest issue is damp and mould, with 24% of respondents surveyed only spotting it once they’d moved in.

Closely following are poor electrics (22%) and plumbing (20%). While surveys can be done to see if there’s a problem, they won’t necessarily uncover the full extent of it, which is why faults like this are often only found later on down the line.

When asked what type of things they checked when viewing a house, 31% of respondents looked at the windows and frames – most likely to inspect for mould. The problem is, however, that damp and mould can occur anywhere in a property.

31% of people asked about the cost of council tax and utility bills, and 29% of people asked about the neighbours. However, 13% of respondents said they felt too uncomfortable asking these kinds of questions – and that’s where the potential to fail to spot issues lies.

Women are more likely to feel uncomfortable asking questions and are more likely to miss issues compared to men. The exceptions to this are asking about pests (14% women, 11% men), and poor or no central heating (20% women, 16% men).

Brits spend £4,936.37 on average fixing faults in their home

£4,936.37 is the average cost of putting right issues only spotted by people once they’ve moved into their home. But 16% of respondents spent between £5,000 and £7,000 – and 7% have spent over £15,000!

Older people tend to spend less on fixing these issues, with those aged between 55-64 spending an average of £3,250 and those aged 65+ spending £4,034.88. This is in contrast to house buyers between the ages of 25-34, who spend approximately £5,670.56 fixing unforeseen faults.

First-time buyers fail to ask the important questions

With 84% of first-time buyers spotting faults before moving into their new home compared to just 67% of experienced buyers, you’d think they’d be at less at risk of having faults to fix.

However, it seems that first-time buyers prefer to ‘do’ things as opposed to asking. For example, they’re more likely to move furniture, lift rugs, and record their house viewing. In contrast, established buyers were more likely to ask ‘important’ questions that if left unanswered, could over time, lead to further issues – this includes questions on utility bills, and asking about the neighbours.

Don’t fall foul of unforeseen faults

Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a seasoned mover, viewing houses can challenging as well as exciting. To help you find the house of your dreams – and not ones riddled with issues – simply follow our house viewing checklist, full of everything you should look out for when viewing a property.

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Survey of 1,500 British homeowners conducted in October 2020 by TLF.