You may have sold your house and now feel under pressure to find your dream home, or you may have taken the plunge to look at buying your first home. Buying a house is exciting but can also be stressful and time consuming.
Start your search by viewing local estate agents’ websites and newspapers, or use online property portals such as Zoopla and Rightmove. These types of websites are easy to use, and the search facility allows you to choose your criteria such as area, how many bedrooms and also your price range. The results from your search will list all the properties in the area and provide details in relation to the property together with photographs. If you want to view the property you can then contact the Estate Agent’s and request a viewing. Ideally you want to view properties in natural daylight and also at dusk.
Buying a home is probably the most expensive purchase we will ever make. You should arrange viewings on a few properties to allow you to compare. It’s worthwhile finding out information on the surrounding area such as school catchment areas and transport links.
Once the estate agent has confirmed the date for the viewing, ask if the agent is showing you around or the owners. If the owners are showing you round, you can ask questions such as why are they moving, and how long have they lived at the property?
What to Look for When Buying a House Checklist
- How is the property heated, is the system in good working order and when was it last serviced?
- Look at ceilings and floors, can you see any damp patches or discoloured areas?
- If the property isn’t a new build ask when the electrics were last checked?
- Look at the windows, if double glazed are the panes clear? If wooden, do they need repainting or replacing? Do all of the windows open?
- When outside look at the roof, do any slates look as if they need replacing?
- If the attic is boarded or used as a room ask if building regulation approval was required and when the work was completed.
- If there has been an extension or walls removed ask when the work was undertaken.
- Look at the boundaries, are they all secure or do they need replacing?
- Some trees can cause root damage, look if there are any trees close by.
- Are any appliances included in the price, and if so check if they work and if they are under guarantee?
You are not required to be a specialist in surveying, but the above checklist will give you some understanding if additional work may be required. If you decide to put in an offer you should obtain quotations for any work. This can be done when you have received the results of your survey. Bear in mind there are different types of survey which may not provide you with a complete picture of works required, for more information see Why Do I Need a Property Survey?
It is important to budget when buying a house to avoid any unusual costs. Only when you understand what is required for legal fees, repair and maintenance should you consider putting in an offer. For more information see Cut Moving Costs with Fixed Price Conveyancing.