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What to look for at a second house viewing (Victorian house)?

(21 Posts)
Pannacotta Mon 02-Jul-07 21:55:32

Haven't looked at houses for a long time and I can't remember all the things to check which aren't obvious the first time you view a house.
What are your best tips of things to ask about/look out for?
It's a mid VIctorian house so pretty old and didn't look in a great way first time round...

Pannacotta Mon 02-Jul-07 22:19:26


Barcelonababe Mon 02-Jul-07 22:21:47

subsidence - depends on area -
roof leakages

uhmmm uhmm sure there are more things but cannot think now....

good luck!

WendyWeber Mon 02-Jul-07 22:24:40

Do the floors feel bouncy?
Are there any cracks running diagonally, eg from door frames?
Does it still have sash windows? If so, do they work?

daisyandbabybootoo Mon 02-Jul-07 22:25:01

rising damp - has it had an injected dpc?

guttering and ironwork

condition of window surrounds if original

as well as the others mentioned of course

Hathor Mon 02-Jul-07 22:25:50

Rising damp
Dry rot
Falling damp
Holes in the roof
Dodgy plumbing
Noisy neighbours

imnot27 Mon 02-Jul-07 22:26:01

Apparently the inside of the chimney is often one of the first places to show damp, so stick your head up and sniff! Look for uneven ground around drains, uummmm, cracks coming from corners of doorways and windows (subsidence), also, put your ear to the wall and listen for neighbours (if there are any attached), many victorian partyu walls were built one brick thick, so you can literally hear your neighbours sneezing! See if the roof has been felted, ie you shouldn't be able to see daylight!

WendyWeber Mon 02-Jul-07 22:26:10

Tap the plaster (esp upstairs which is prob mostly lath-and-plaster, unless it's been replaced) to see if it sounds hollow or wobbles.

(Am basing all this on our house, which is crap )

Pannacotta Mon 02-Jul-07 22:27:42

Thanks for those, all sound lovely!!
How can you tell if the plumbing/electrics are dodgy, any obvious signs? Am sure the vendor won't say yes if I ask him?!

Idobelieveinfairies Mon 02-Jul-07 22:27:42

I live in an old Victorian building, was a hotel before converted into flats.

It is lovely, but we have very bouncy floors, when a lorry goes by everything rattles , the kids love it.

We have sash windows too. It is a listed building so new windows weren't allowed. It does get cold, but they are nice and big. They do rattle in strong wind and we have to put bits of carboard into to sto them.

Idobelieveinfairies Mon 02-Jul-07 22:28:48

Is it ok for floors to be bouncy?

Hathor Mon 02-Jul-07 22:29:01

Don't forget woodworm.

cat64 Mon 02-Jul-07 22:29:14

Message withdrawn

Pannacotta Mon 02-Jul-07 22:29:21

oh no all these lists/defects are almost enough to put me off having another look!

Idobelieveinfairies Mon 02-Jul-07 22:30:41

Dosen't mean your house-to-be will have them, but things to watch for

Have fun.

Pannacotta Mon 02-Jul-07 22:30:58

I thought bouncy floors are a sign of woodworm?
Our house now is Victorian but we have done loads of work and also it was reroofed before we moved in.
I just couldn't remember all the strucural things that are an issue with old shacks...

WendyWeber Mon 02-Jul-07 22:31:20

Floors shouldn't bounce - it's a sign of joist problems (as well as being bloody annoying when you're sitting minding your own business and your chair goes boing when someone walks past)

I would ask about both the plumbing and the electrics - when were they last updated, has the vendor any receipts or guarantees?

Hathor Mon 02-Jul-07 22:32:35

Oh yes - can you get your furniture through the door. Noisy neighbours an issue if semi or terraced as wall only one brick thick.
Woodworm leave piles of sawdust if active.

cece Mon 02-Jul-07 22:33:02

ditto the boiler

Pannacotta Mon 02-Jul-07 22:42:02

Good point re the boiler - they are pricey to replace.
Will write up a comprehensive list, that'll panic the vendor!
Thanks all

Mirage Wed 04-Jul-07 22:38:29

Check where the top of the bay windows joins the wall to see if the flashing isn't parting company with the wall.Our old house had a big gap like this & just after we moved out,there was a big storm,the water got in & the ceiling came down.

If the fuse box is a consumer unit,with trip switches instead of wired fuses,it is relatively modern.

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