Older Town Houses

Many buyers opt for an older  town house purchase, which can be a cheaper way to own plenty of living space, often full of character. It’s important to note however that some properties are also full of wood boring insects and damp. A complete renovation will normally be costly and hence reflected in the asking price, but some faked up examples may look OK on the surface, while hiding a multitude of sins.

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-Always check exposed beams for signs of insect attack (often small holes of 1mm diameter and/or larger holes of around 3mm). If beam ends are friable, what’s hidden in the walls is normally worse. Surface treatment alone will rarely stop attack.

-If ceilings have been boarded over be cautious! most Spanish and north European owners prefer exposed beams, so if they have been covered up it may be for good reason.

-Check other timber elements such as windows and doors for attack, if they have been replaced past infestation may have been extensive and other hidden timbers such as lintels may still be infested.

-Check lower walls and attic level ceilings for damp and staining. Most original roofs leak, and despite the dry Spanish climate leaking drains and water pipes are a common problem in towns, giving a constant supply of water to the ground.

A full survey will involve many other checks including a damp meter inspection. If you have any doubts, get the property inspected.

Information provided by Mark Paddon BSc Hons Building Surveying. MCIOB. Free 17 page buyer’s guide available via www.surveysspain.com  T: 962807247 M: 653733066

Free initial advice is available by phone or by e-mailing :- This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Copyright Mark Paddon 2008

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