“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” the school librarian once told us.

You’ve probably heard that advice many times since then – in reference to other decisions that shouldn’t be made based on superficial observations. We’re here to suggest that you unlearn this particular expression because first impressions do matter.

To everyone who is about to take the enormous step of becoming a homeowner: please do judge a house by its “cover”. Check the property on the outside.  This may seem superficial, which you’ve been taught is a bad thing, but the simple precaution may lead to very genuine, money-saving insights. Judge away!

Check the area

Is your potential home in with the wrong crowd? Take a little stroll. Note the nearby bars, shops, schools, bus stops and busy intersections. Now ponder whether your needs and desires align with the environment.

Check the garden

If you met someone with stunning hair you may be inclined to overlook potential personality flaws. But even a great hairdo can reflect a fundamental problem – how much money does the person spend on hair product and will the sum put you off?

Before a house goes on the market, the seller is likely to get the garden looking especially green. This is all good and well – for first impressions – but this first impression reminds you to consider the price one pays for luscious locks, or in this case – a luscious yard! Are you prepared to take on the expense of irrigation? Consider this carefully.

Check the roof tiles

When tiles age they can eventually break and if this happens to your home, you essentially no longer have a roof over your head. You’ll also probably have to replace the whole roof. And while tiles feature on the outside, ask to see them from the ceiling’s side and if there is white flaking you will know that the tiles have started to disintegrate. There’s no magic anti-ageing serum that will rectify this, so we reiterate: think carefully before making the commitment of buying the property.

Check the window frames

Window frames are like fingernails; they are a good indicator of the state of a house in the same way that clean and trimmed nails reflect on the cleanliness of a person. If you are going to have to do extensive painting and repairing when you take over the grooming responsibilities of the home, maybe the price isn’t worth all the effort nor the extra expenses. Upon inspection you will notice rotten frames immediately and if condensation has formed between panes of the double-glazed windows, you know the panes are faulty.

Be ruthless in your evaluation of the outside of the property so that you choose the right place to scribble down years of meaningful memories. Judge the book.