Home School: Episode 4 - Viewing Old Properties

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Home School, in association with Ulster Bank, is a six-part series that guides you through the process of buying a house for the first time. Let's be honest; getting on the property ladder can be daunting. Home School, presented by first-time buyer and entertainment.ie's Brian Lloyd, will demystify the home buying process and help first-time buyers not feel so overwhelmed with the process. 

If you're buying a second-hand property, regardless of the condition it's in, your first call should always be to a building surveyor.

As I learned from Ciarán Banahan, a member of the Society of Charted Surveyors, there are plenty of areas to look out for when it comes to buying an older property that might not necessarily occur to you. A thorough inspection by a reputable member of the Society of Chartered Surveyors can save time and hassle when it comes to buying an older property.

Not only that, I also found that when it comes to making improvements on an older property - such as a new kitchen, or even an extension - the building itself might not be up to current building regulations, and that would need to be considered when making any plans. It could even be something as simple as the steepness of the stairs, as we found in the client's house we visited.

Another point that Ciarán discussed with me was how to check for damp in walls, and as well as this, cracks on the outside of the structure itself. While we weren't able to get into the attic, Ciarán made the point that it's vital to do so, as the attic is often where the water heater is stored - something that should always be checked.

I have to admit, I wasn't aware of how involved and detailed a building survey was, but thankfully, Ciarán was able to give me all the information I needed - and some I didn't realise I needed - when it comes to looking at and buying older properties.

When you're ready to join the market, you'll need to talk to someone about a mortgage - and that's where Ulster Bank can help. Request a call back to discuss the right mortgage for you at ulsterbank.ie.

Ulster Bank Ireland DAC is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.