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Top tips for house-hunters to avoid winter discontent

With the summer months a traditionally popular time for house-hunting, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) today advised buyers to be aware 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. Yet it is important not to forget how quickly the British weather can change." 

NAEA has five key tips to remember when viewing a property during the summer months:

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

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