Pitfalls of summer purchase

With summer months traditionally a popular time for house-hunting, the National Association of Estate Agents is advising buyers to be wary of ‘seasonal blinkers’ when buying property.

Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the NAEA, said: “It’s easy to be swayed by warm weather living when house hunting in the summer, meaning cool living rooms, large windows and lots of space for barbecues can be attractive.

“But it is important to not forget how quickly the British weather can change.”

NAEA, the UK’s leading professional body for estate agency personnel, representing 13,000 members who practise across all aspects of property services both in the UK and overseas, has five key tips to remember when viewing a property during the summer months, including:

View the property at different times of day – this will help you see how natural light falls around different rooms. This can be particularly important for garden flats, which may be darker during the winter months.

Check insulation and heating – note whether the windows are double glazed and check if cavity walls/attics are insulated. With utility bills rising, it is also worth finding out when the boiler was installed and checking that radiators are big enough for the rooms they occupy.

Look for signs of damp – this is an important issue at any time of year, but damp could be less obvious during summer months. Ensure a comprehensive survey is undertaken to reduce the risk of unwanted surprises.

Think about ‘all year round’ gardens – decking, patios and summer houses can add a significant amount to the property’s asking price. While these outside areas may provide a great entertaining space in the summer, bear in mind that this ‘extra room’ may only be available for a couple of months every year.

Be aware of external features – any unclad or exposed pipes may be prone to freezing in colder winter temperatures. Equally, consider upkeep factors on external walls – painted facades may need to be repainted regularly to guard against harsh winter conditions.