Should the Attic Be There: 9 Things You May Forget to Look Out For When Buying a House

Buying a house can be both an exciting and extremely stressful process; however, knowing what you should be looking for can ease your mind. For example, the attic is usually an afterthought. Unless you have plans to turn it into an extra bedroom, it can often be overlooked, especially by first-time buyers. And that can be a costly mistake.

Image: English Blinds

In the following post, we highlight some of the essential considerations you need to make regarding the attic when buying a house.

Ease of Access

Firstly, it’s crucial the attic is accessible. Even if the current owners have never used it, you should still check its condition and whether you can get into it.

Signs of Water Damage

Water generally gets into a property from the top downwards. So, it’s essential whether you’re looking yourself or have hired a professional that they look at the wood supports and walls for evidence water is either currently or has in the past entered the attic and property from the roof. Obviously, water not only causes condensation and mould but can also lead to structural damage.

Signs of Fire Damage

There are various standout signs that there has been a fire in a property. Soot-covered, scorched and blackened wood, for example. However, the current owners or a previous owner may have tried to cover over this by painting it. Be suspicious if there are sections that have been painted white. The painting also gets rid of that burnt smell too.

How old is the roof?

Image: Paperboy Interiors

Roofs are often taken for granted because until you have an issue with them, they are generally fine. However, it’s worth noting that modern roofs should last for at least 15 to 20 years. Ask the sellers how old the roof on the property is, so you know whether you’ll have to fork out for a new one soon.

Signs of Wildlife Damage

It can be hard to spot signs of damage caused by wildlife if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Look for signs of poop (squirrel poop tends to resemble oblong pellets, whereas mice fecal matter looks like grains of rice). If there’s a pest problem in the home, it could end up costing you a fortune, not only to remove the pests but to repair the damage they cause.

Is the Attic Supposed to be There?

If you know there’s been changes made to the home, you need to make sure, with the help of your solicitor that correct planning permission was obtained.

Inferior Insulation

There are various ways attics can be insulated. However, just because a property has insulation, doesn’t mean it’s any good. You need to check the R-value, remembering the higher the number, the better the insulation is.

Damage to Rafters or Trusses

Having a roof inspection may not find defects on the structural integrity of the attic. It could look fine from the outside, but on the inside, you could see there are damaged rafters or trusses.

Don’t be Put Off by Restrictive Covenants

Restrictive Covenants are conditions that are written into a property’s title deeds that say what you can and can’t do with the house. However, as you can make a claim against covenants, with the help of Lawsure, it’s not the end of the world.  

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