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What should you keep an eye out for when looking at your potential new home's bathroom?

Buying a new home is full of lots of little annoyances. Location, size, number of rooms etc. But now that the recession is seemingly passing at long last, it seems buying a home is once again a viable option, and some are even turning to it as a viable means of making a living. So what should you keep an eye out for when looking at your potential new home's bathroom? Here are 10 tips we have compiled:

Mould and damp

The number one thing to check for. The bathroom, by its very nature, is a sanctuary for mould. It’s constantly in use, water has the potential to get everywhere, and behind the living room and maybe the kitchen, it is often the most heated room in the house. You’ll want to check the ceiling, the edges of the floor, and any wooden products (skirting boards, shelves) etc. for evidence of the fungus. Ask if the room has been inspected Obviously, mould can still be hiding in the various nooks & crannies of the room, and potentially under the floor, but you can’t be that thorough when on a house visit. The current owners don't want you ripping up their floorboards! So ask the estate agent if the room, and the house at large, has been inspected. If there has been, they’ll be quick to tell you if there isn’t any mould present. On the other hand, they’ll either have to tell you or will suddenly get defensive about disclosing information. Both should be red flags.

Check the water quality

A quick run of a tap for a few seconds will show you if the water running through the pipes is clean. Any colouration should be brought up the estate agent immediately. If you have the time, you may also want to do the “hard water” test seen below.

Leaks

Following closely behind mould, checking for leaks is vital. On a routine house visit, you may not have time to run a full bath, flush the toilet 10 times, or fill the sink to the brim. But one flush, one quick spray with the shower around the bath, and a short blast from the various taps should highlight any major leaks from the piping or the appliances. Leaks on the outside A little out of the box, but a leak won’t necessarily pour water back into the bathroom. If it’s a dry day, you may also want to stand outside the house, by the bathroom, and make sure nothing is leaking to the outside. Leaks may not be as inconvenient as they are on the inside, but they could still point to poor plumbing or structural problems.

Windows secure

This is something that can be changed later down the line, but you’ll be very busy with other moving-in complications to get the windows replaced initially. Make sure they are secure enough to last at least a little while.

Well ventilated

Temperature regulation is very important in a bathroom. If steam from a hot shower can’t get out, it has the potential to kick-start new mould growths. Look for a ventilation grate or an extractor fan.

Hot water

While running the taps to check for leaks, use the hot taps. It’s best to make sure they can get hot water running through them within a reasonable time. If no hot water comes out at all, bring it up with the estate agent. It may be the case that the boiler has already been switched off, or it could be something more alarming.

Conversion potential

Consider this future proofing. It may not be a pressing concern, but you may want to see if the bathroom can be readily converted for green energy. Want to heat the water through solar panels? Want to remove the strip lights for more economical bulbs? Build a little mental plan and get some estimates. This won’t be something to deal with straight away, but it doesn’t hurt to think ahead. And for more green tips, look for our hashtag on Twitter #GoEcoWithBathroomCity!

Cost of modernisation

This goes hand in hand with the simplest of requirements - “Do you like the bathroom”. If you don’t love the style, the wall colour, or the tiles, it doesn’t mean the house is a write-off. The estate agent should have access to room dimensions, so inquire about them, and check how much it would cost to re-tile, paint the walls, or update one of the appliances.