What to Look for When Buying a New Home
There’s a lot to think about when making the decision to buy a new home, you want to make sure you’re picking the right one. So if you’re a first time buyer or not well practised in the art of house hunting, here are some of our tips on what to look out for when picking out your new home…
There are many things to check for when walking in to view a house and it can be slightly overwhelming trying to remember everything. So here are some of the main points important for you to think about during your viewings:
- Size; Seems like an obvious one but thinking about what kind of space you require from your new home is important. Measure room sizes and consider your current furniture and where you could fit everything in.
- Mould; This is a big one as mould can be a sign of larger and most likely expensive problems, you don’t want to miss this. Check walls and ceilings for damp spots or marks and pay attention to smells as all of these can be indicators of mould. Don’t forget to check behind large furniture items as these can be masking issues too.
- Electrics; Turn switches on and off to test electrics and look for obvious wiring issues around the property. Again electrical issues can be expensive so check with the estate agent what the age of the wiring is – you don’t want to get caught with a bill like this as soon as you have moved in.
- Plumbing; Test taps for hot water and pressure, you can quickly gather a lot about the boiler by trying this. Don’t forget to ask about when the boiler was last serviced and how old it is – these are really important questions as boilers can be pricey to replace!
- Structure; Often people forget to check the outside of the property but this can be a great indicator for any structural issues. Are there cracks in the walls? Or damage to the roof that could be an issue? Also consider the standard of the guttering when viewing the outside of the house, you should be able to tell fairly quickly how well it has been maintained.
- Doors & Windows; Open and close all doors, windows, cupboards etc. check they are functioning and most importantly secure!
This is just as important as the property itself and the checks to take are easily forgotten, so follows these tips to make sure you don’t get caught out!
- Neighbours; If possible visit the property and surrounding area at different times of day to get a full picture of the property and surrounding neighbours. It may be that the property is quiet and peaceful during the day but most people are usually out or at work at this time, so it could be a completely different story at night. Lookout for busy public places nearby, like clubs or bars, that might be louder later at night.
- Amenities; Think about what you might want nearby from day-to-day. Is the nearest corner shop within walking distance? What are the local schools like? Are there any nice local eateries or pubs in the near vicinity or would it require you to take transport? If you are unfamiliar with the area, why not spend some time walking around to get a real feel of the place.
- Traffic/Flight Paths; If you need access by car, try driving around the property’s area at different times of day to assess the traffic around your potential routes. Listen for noise pollution around your home too, if you can visit the property at different times of day to listen for traffic noise or if the property is in line with any major flight paths.
- Parking; If applicable, check the parking situation for the property – does it have allocated parking? What is the on-street parking like? Are there any restrictions or will permits be required? If there are permits required you might want to check the pricing on these to weigh up your options.
- Transport; If you require public transport, check routes and links nearby to the property. If reliant on public transport you might find that a lack of it could be a big determination on the property area you are looking at – it might not be right for you.
- Direction; If you are looking at a property with a garden an important one to consider is which way the property is facing and where the sun will be throughout the day – it might determine how much sun will reach your garden.
- Obstructions; Another thing to think about when viewing is – are there any potential obstructions on the property? Things like large trees or building work nearby that could impact directly on your property. Large trees can be potential hazards in bad weather which you will want to avoid. And find out if there is any planned building work nearby that could affect your home as this could impact on traffic, access, parking and many other aspects.
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You may not have confirmed your decision yet but think about what might come next if you do. Buying a house can be a stressful process at times and you want to make sure you are prepared.
- What’s Included; It’s good to check what will be included in the sale, most commonly any white goods or appliances that appear in the house. Some things may surprise you that won’t be included in the sale so it is always useful to check.
- Previous Owners; Ask the estate agent what the situtation around the current owners is. Is there any chain that you might need to be aware of? Why are they moving? These could help gain you useful insight into the property and the selling process which will be the next step for you.
If you keep these main points in mind these tips should help you to make a well informed decision on your potential future home. Remember to take your time with the viewings, don’t feel you have to rush and ask loads of questions.
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