When looking for a property there are normally a few burning questions that spring to mind for buyers:
What do I want
What can I afford
What should I be looking out for
These top tips should help you answer all three of these questions and give you a good idea of what you need to be thinking about.
What do I Want?
It is important to not only think with the heart when looking for the right property. Some factors you should be taking into consideration are:
Future needs and plans
General area and neighbourhood
Is the area already established or up and coming?
There are probably many more things you could be thinking about, but these are likely the main considerations that need to be thought about when starting your house buying journey. You may find that you can’t meet every requirement you put on a list and compromises might have to be made, so the first thing you want to do is list these things by priority to get you started, then work out what’s a must and what you might be able to live without.
What Can I Afford?
If you are looking to mortgage a property, this question is best answered by speaking to a mortgage adviser. They can sit with you and gather all the relevant information for them to conduct research into your maximum affordability with lenders, then come back to you with a good idea of the maximum amount of money lenders are prepared to give you. Speaking to a mortgage adviser early can save you mountains of time later, as they will have the knowledge to help you with the entire process and can set things up for down the line when you are ready to put an offer in and apply for a mortgage.
For more information check out our Top 5 Reasons To Use A Mortgage Adviser.
What Should I Be Looking Out For?
When you are viewing a property, you could take as little as 10 minutes or several hours through repeat visits, getting a full feel for it. Generally, new build homes don’t require as much time to look over as older homes and will come with guarantees if anything goes wrong, but the case is not the same for older houses. Here are some of the things we recommend thinking about when on a viewing:
What is the condition like?
Are any seals blown and trapping moisture between the glass?
Is it double glazed
What are the frames made from?
If they are wooden frames is the wood rotting?
Can you see any mould or black spots on the walls?
While small cracks along the plaster can be normal and just a sign of age, are any standing out looking abnormal
Is this a result of large cracks in the mortar on the outside wall of the property?
Is there any damage?
Are there any missing tiles?
Can you see any signs of leakages on the inside of the roof?
Are they covered in more than a normal amount of moss?
Check for drainage problems on flat roofs
Gas and Electric
Is the property on a meter?
Is there any exposed wiring?
Do all switches work?
How old is the boiler?
Has it been serviced recently?
Is it gas, oil or electric heating
Is there insulation?
Is the insulation in a good state?
Are there any tears in the lining that meets the roof?
Is there any visible sign of rot in the roof beams?
Is there enough storage for all of your possessions?
Will you be growing the family and need more storage?
Why the owners are moving
Are there problems with neighbours?
Take a trip at different times of day and park up in the street to see what goes on
Are neighbours noisy
There may be other things that spring to mind, but this is a good place to start with what to look for. Moving home isn’t a quick process and you don’t want to feel like you need to move again soon after moving in because you don’t like the house or area. If you find the right property the first time, you can enjoy many years to come in your new home.