First Time Buyers – A Checklist for New Homeowners First Time Buyers – A Checklist for New Homeowners Getting married, having a child and, of course, buying your first home are all major chapters in our lives and are renowned for also being some of the most enjoyable but stressful periods. At Electric Heating Expert, we appreciate that when it comes to the electrical side of things, you may not necessarily know what the pitfalls are. To help make the home buying process that little bit less stressful, we have put together a checklist for you below: What are the Monthly Costs? When viewing your dream home, it is a good idea to enquire about the average monthly costs for gas and electricity bills, as these will need to be factored into your future outgoings. Home Inspection Getting a home inspection carried out before signing on the dotted line is always advised, as superficial touches such as granite worktops, built in ovens, freshly painted walls and new tiles can hide a multitude of dangerous defects. Defects, from issues with electrical cabling, fuse boxes, electric heating circuits, and mains earthing, to water and gas supply and much more. Once a qualified electrician has conducted a thorough survey of the property, they will then be able to sit down with you and discuss the results of the survey and identify any potential areas for concern. However, it is advisable that you request a formal investigation or EICR (Electrical Installation Condition Report) as this will cover all areas such as fixtures, fittings and the safety of any electrical installations. In addition, to the above the EICR will also look at: • Fire detectors and hard-wired smoke alarms. • Consumer units and fuse boards. • Boilers. • Panel and storage heaters. Who is Qualified to Carry Out a Property Survey? When requesting a property survey, it is a good idea to double check that your surveyor is a member of one of the following organisations: the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) or the Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA) both of whom offer different levels of surveys, which will of course be reflected in the price. It is important to note that the type of survey you will require will all depend on the type of property and its age. House Viewing Of course, when you go to visit your dream house or flat, there are things you can do whilst you are there to ensure that the property meets your requirements. We have listed below a few suggestions to help you feel more confident when it comes to putting an offer in and perhaps even reconsidering whether or not you are happy to pay the full asking price: • Do the light switches work in each room? • Are there any signs of damp/mould or condensation? • Are there any exposed wires? • How many power sockets are there and are they placed in convenient locations? • What is the service history like for the boiler and is it noisy? • How old is the fuse box and when was it last checked? • What is the property’s rating for energy performance (EPC)? This will determine how much energy you use and have an impact on your monthly running costs, as mentioned earlier. • Does the property benefit from a conservatory? Is heating already provided or will you require one of our electric radiators? • Is gas central heating available or will you require electric radiators? • Is the property well insulated? The better the insulation the lower your energy bills will be. For the latest tips and advice from our experts at Electric Heating Expert, check out our blog or alternatively drop us a direct message online.