You've finally found the house of your dreams; the keys are in your hands; and you live happily ever after...
Sadly, this isn't always the case, with many property-related problems only revealing themselves after you've signed the deeds and settled in, according to a survey of 1,000 UK home owners by California Shutters, which sought to discover the most common issues people wish they had known about before committing to a property.
What topped the list of annoyances? Competitive parking irritated nearly a quarter of respondents (20 per cent) stating they wish they'd known it was going to be that difficult to park the car at the end of the day.
Noisy neighbours followed closely at 19 per cent, with traffic noise, high renovation costs and damp all figuring as significant problems homeowners wished they'd known about in advance.
Interestingly, many people found themselves caught out by these highly annoying but mundane issues, rather than bigger problems such as pest infestations and house depreciation – most respondents, bar four to five per cent, appeared clued up about those issues.
Our advice? Always view a property more than once, and at different times of the day. Come back on a weekday evenings to chat to the neighbours; then maybe again on a Sunday morning and see if you are able to park the car. First impressions can deceive, especially if you first came to view your potential house on a lovely sunny day. Come back when it's pouring with rain and cold, and then see if you still love it
– and check with your surveyor that the house doesn't have damp.