We wish estate agents would tell us THIS before we buy our homes

It could make the difference between a happy home and a miserable one

It looked amazing online, was in a fabulous area, full of potential and the neighbours seemed really nice. But now that you've moved in, what seemed like a dream property isn't quite living up to expectation. Sound about right?

Related: 10 things that will put off buyers when you'e selling a house

It's an all-too familiar story for a lot of new homeowners. But potential problems could be so easily avoided or nipped in the bud if estate agents were a little more forthcoming. A new survey from Californian Shutters has identified the biggest home truths we want our estate agents to share – BEFORE we sign on the dotted line.

Here are the 10 biggest bugbears.

10. There's no way you'll get planning permission

childhood home memories

(Image credit: Future PLC/Olly Gordon)

Not in a million years. In fact, you won't be able to knock down a domino rally in there, let alone a supporting wall. Oh, did the agent not mention the place was Grade 1 listed?

9. There could be pest problems

Whether it's rodents in the attic or beetles in the floorboards, those pesky critters can cause all sorts of damage and stress. And they're not cheap to get rid of.

It's worth knowing that, under Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (CPRs), estate agents now have to comply with much stricter measures on what they do and don't tell you about a property. So if they don't make you aware of a major issue like subsidence, they could be breaking the law.

8. The area has already 'up and come'

step inside this bold and quirky four bed victorian terrace in kettering exterior

(Image credit: Future PLC/Olly Gordon)

Are you paying the ceiling price for the street? It's worth checking, as the property value may not rise beyond those heady heights again.

7. You're miles from anything

To be honest, we think it's a bit unfair to pin this on the estate agent. It's not hard to pop the post code into Google Maps and work out that your nearest school/corner shop/hospital is three junctions down the motorway.

6. It's going to cost a fortune to heat/power

living room with log storage ideas

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jon Day)

Always look at the EPC rating.

5. It's got damp

When you said you wanted a water feature, this isn't what you meant.

4. There's traffic noise... sorry, THERE'S TRAFFIC NOISE!

So THAT'S why the agent kept you away from the windows and out of the garden.

3. That '£10k kitchen extension' is actually going to cost at least £50k

garden makeover outdoor kitchen hot tub summerhouse

(Image credit: Future PLC/Claire Lloyd Davies)

It's always worth getting second opinion. Or a third.

2. Those 'nice neighbours' are actually the loudest people ever

They didn't look the type to have all-night raves in their living room, but you should never judge a book by its cover!

1. There's never a free parking space

bright and fun victorian home in south london

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

Competition for parking spaces topped the poll, with 20 per cent of those asked saying this was their ultimate pet peeve. Oliver Robertson at California Shutters suggests that this might be something the country’s estate agents aren’t telling their buyers about often enough.

More to think about: This one thing could be devaluing your home by as much as £130,000

'With all the challenges and decisions to be made when finding and choosing a new home, it’s easy to forget about the little things that will impact on your home life day to day,' he says. 'While our survey shows most movers have a good awareness of problems like damp and pests prior to moving in to a new home, they can still be caught off guard by other things such as having to fight for parking spaces or deal with noise from next door or traffic from the road.'

So the next time you're viewing a house, grill the agent for info – if they avoid eye contact when you ask certain questions, it's worth investigating further!

Amy Cutmore

Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.