The knock test and 13 other things you need to check before buying a new home


A PROPERTY expert has shared her “streetwise” guide to help first-time buyers navigate the property market.

Georgina Burnett, the UK-based guru known as The Home Genie on Instagram, has revealed a list checks people should carry out before buying a new home.


Property expert Georgina Burnett has shared her top tips for things to look for when buying a property[/caption]

In her new book Georgina highlights key questions to ask and consider when viewing a property for the first time.

One of her tips is the stamp and knock test.

She writes: “If you’re looking to improve a property, sometimes opening it up can modernise and make it seem larger and lighter. It’s also desirable for the bulk of today’s home-buyers to have an open-plan style. A really easy and cost effective way of doing this is by simply knocking down stud walls, usually added by previous generations.


“Tapping the wall to hear if there’s a hollow sound will tell you if the wall is weight bearing or not.

“I also go around stamping my feet – not so that I can get my own way (although that does happen) but so I can work out if there might be some original floorboards under the carpet, which could save me money.”

According to Georgina, damp is an important thing to check for – and she advises prospective buyers to look for the “warning signs”.

She explains: “Look out for mould, flaking plaster, bubbling wallpaper and watermarks on walls and ceilings. It’s not necessarily a reason not to buy, but should be a big consideration when negotiating.”


Buyers should also check the roof thoroughly as this can be a “very expensive thing to correct”, says Georgina.

She advises people to look out for cement tiles, which are “incredibly heavy” and can “actually cause sagging”.

A builder’s opinion is a worthwhile investment, too.

What should you ask the agent?

  • How long has it been on the market?
  • Is this the first time to market by this particular vendor?!
  • Have they had any sales fall through, and if so what was the reason?
  • Why are they selling?
  • Are there any management fees?
  • If its leasehold, how long is the lease on it?
  • Have there been any neighbour disputes?
  • Have they ever been refused planning permission?
  • Do they have the planning permission for any extensions or a loft conversion?
  • If it’s rented out what is the monthly income?

Georgina writes: “It’s worth finding a builder you feel you can trust to help identify warning signs and how much any problems are likely to cost to fix. They will often give you half an hour of their time for free as there is potential work for them in the near future. Even a small fee is worth paying if it helps you to understand the cost of doing up the property before you make your offer. ”

And of course, there are a number of questions you should ask the agent – which Georgina has included in her book, The Street-wise Guide to Buying, Improving and Selling Your Home, which is available on Amazon.

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Rex Features

In her new book Georgina highlights key questions to ask and consider when viewing a property for the first time[/caption]


Georgina with her new book[/caption]


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