Planning a move to a bigger garden or out to the leafy suburbs? Make sure your new greenery doesn't become the root of a bigger problem.

Tree tips:

  • Ask a tree surgeon to check whether trees close to the property could cause subsidence
  • Cut back branches touching buildings to allow 2-3 metres clearance
  • Stop leaves blocking drains by covering downpipes with net or chicken wire



Is your dream home in a flood risk area? Make sure all is not lost. Check whether your new property is in a flood-risk area with the Environment Agency. If it is look out for, or budget for these forms of protection:

Flood tips:

  • Non-return valves on drains, airbrick covers and doorframe covers
  • Pug-points fixed 1.5m above flood level
  • UPVC windows are less easily damaged than wood
  • Cement floors and water-resistant materials like stainless steel, ceramic tiles, plastic or solid wood offer greater protection



Make sure you don't end up paying for a crime in a new area. Here are some ways you can do a drive-by of your new neighbourhood before you buy.

Crime tips:

  • For England and Wales: check out the local crime map
  • Chat to locals about any problems in the area
  • Look for Neighbourhood Watch stickers in your street
  • Take a drive-by at night. How does the neighbourhood look and feel after dark?
  • Ask the local library if there are any local papers that might give you a flavour of your local police priorities


Is your new home on safe ground?

Here are some giveaway signs your potential new structure might be giving way to subsidence:

Structure tips:

  • Clay soils, ex-mining areas and coastal regions are at most risk of subsidence
  • Look out for cracks that are diagonal, and wider at the head than the base
  • Door or windows jamming for no reason
  • Wallpaper tearing with no obvious signs of botched DIY?
  • Tree roots spread up to 3 times the height of the tree. Are there any close to the property?
  • House pre 1940s often have shallower foundations this can add to the subsidence risk

Looking for home insurance?

Please ensure you read the key information about HSBC Home Insurance and check the full eligibility requirements before you apply.