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Property Defects to Look Out For


Looking at a home to either rent or buy is a very exciting time. However, it could quickly become a nightmare if you get your hands on a bad property. Some homes may appear to be perfect; however, there could be some hidden problems you may not have noticed at first glance. In this blog, we take a look at what problems may occur in a home and what you should look out for when viewing properties.


Damp is usually one of the most obvious problems, and it can occur in many homes, but it isn’t always noticeable. Damp not only is unsightly, but it can cause health issues, so it is vital to spot the indicators. If there isn’t evidence of damp and mouldy patches on the wall, floor or ceiling, then here are some of the hidden signs to look out for:


- A damp or musty smell in the property

- Walls, floors or ceilings feel cold or damp

- Dark or discoloured patches on the walls, floors or ceilings

- Wallpaper is lifting or peeling

- A significant amount of condensation on the windows


Something to keep an eye out for is ventilation systems; these can help the property remain in the best condition and not get damp or mouldy.

Structural Problems

Cracks are the primary indicator of potential structural problems; however, if there isn’t a visible sign, then there could be some hidden issues. Bouncy floorboards could be a sign of rotten joists, and these can be very costly to replace. Furthermore, cracks that are showing around windows or doors should be investigated.


Where the property is situated can have an effect on other factors that could turn you off the home. If you view the property at night, you may not be aware of the fact that the home receives very little natural light, so it is essential to look out for where the windows are positioned. If there are plenty of windows, then there should be a sufficient amount of daylight. Furthermore, if you are someone who enjoys spending time in the garden, you will want to ask which direction the house faces. Typically speaking, a home that is south-facing will usually get more sun throughout the day, and therefore it is often brighter and warmer. A north-facing property receives sun at the back and is typically both darker and cooler. In addition to this, you will also want to consider traffic noise – is the property underneath a flight path or next to a railway track? Furthermore, if the home is at the bottom of a hill, it is essential you ask about the drainage system in the area to ensure it can withstand large rainfall and not flood.

Plumbing and Electrics

It is important that when viewing a property, you check for any damaged or leaking pipes. Take a look under sinks, check the bathrooms and also the drainage system outside the property. You should check that all light switches work, there are no faulty wires and also look out for plug sockets, to ensure that there are enough for you.


Before entering the property, take a good look at the roof. If you can spot any old, broken or missing tiles, then it will need to be replaced. If the owner isn’t willing to sort this, then it could end up costing you a significant amount of money. If the roof is in bad condition, then it shouldn’t be ignored as this could lead to leaks and other costly fixes. If you are in doubt, get a professional in to take a look for you and have a closer examination of the area.


Whether the home looks perfect or you have noticed some concerning factors, we highly recommend you consider a property survey before signing the dotted line. Here at Godfrey, Short and Squire, we are Dartmoor estate agents and have a variety of homes for either rent or buy. Our office is based in Okehampton, and we offer properties around West Devon. If you are interested in finding a home, please get in contact with us. Give us a call on 01837 54504 or drop us an email at Alternatively, you can visit our social media channels; Tweet us at @GSS_Property or head over to our Facebook page.  


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