Because buying a house is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make, there are a lot of things to consider before making an offer on the house of your dreams. From choosing the right house and location to ensuring that you have all costs covered, we discuss the top things that you should note before buying a home to ensure there are no nasty surprises along the way, or after you’ve moved in.
Especially if you’re a first time buyer, you should seek out the advice of family, friends and trusted estate agents, but only those who can provide grounded advice. Family and friends who have bought one house in their entire lives may not be up to date with all of the important details of today’s home-buying process. Estate agents who have been in the industry for years, however, will be, and can provide honest advice that you can depend on. When it comes to choosing an estate agent, choose one that has great recommendations within the local area and plenty of years of experience, such as JonSimon.
It may be tempting to buy a large house straight away because you want to have a big family in the future, but really, a large house just means more space to maintain, more utility bills to pay and in effect, wasted space. No-one knows what the future holds. You or your spouse may receive a career opportunity in another town or city, requiring your family to up sticks. Consider the size of the house you need now, and then plan, based on your budget, what you realistically need, and can afford.
Mortgages aren’t cheap, and with most lenders requiring a 10% deposit to acquire one, you have to be certain that you want the property you buy. There are also other costs to consider, such as:
It’s always a good idea to shop around for solicitors, van hire companies and survey suppliers, balancing their fees with their reputation.
No matter how perfect a house may seem, you should also hire a trusted home inspector, such as RICS, to ensure that there are no serious issues. Home surveys can uncover foundation problems, rot, pest issues, roof damage, mold, unsuitable insulation and dangerous wiring among other concerns and you need to know about all of this before you go ahead with the sale. Fortunately, if there are issues, you can renegotiate the price with the seller, or even have a contract drawn up that stipulates the seller must fix these issues before the sale goes ahead.
Before putting in an offer, consider how easy it will be to get to work. Most of us have to commute every day, and if you choose a house that’s far from the main road, motorway, bus stop or train station, then it’ll only add to the stresses of daily life. That’s not to say that you need to move right next door to your office, but that you should consider weekly travel costs and the impact this will have on your household’s budget.
Another facet of location is local amenities. If you like going out at night or want to live near the town or city’s main attractions, then a house that isn’t too far away (depending on your noise tolerance) is always worth considering. If you have children, then proximity to local schools and colleges, as well as youth clubs, is important.
Though it may seem counterintuitive to be thinking about selling a house that you haven’t even bought yet, it’s worth considering how much work you may have to do on this house and whether you feel it’ll be worth the investment. Replacing door knobs and kitchen cabinets are one thing, but if there are rooms that you know will need a complete makeover, then doing some quick costings will prepare you for the undertaking.
Similarly, ask your estate agent when the house first went on the market, and if the price has been reduced since. If the house has been on the market for a long time, definitely ask why. It could be that the seller has had a lot of interest from buyers, but for one reason or another, the sales fell through. There may be reasons for concern, or that a buyer’s conveyancer discovered that there were plans for new developments nearby, there’s a high risk of flooding or there was an issue with the price. It’s imperative that you have the answers to all of these things, before you go any further in the process.
For more information on the things to note before buying a home, please do not hesitate to get in touch with one of our local branches today:
Radcliffe: 0161 723 1155
Burnley: 01282 427 445
Ramsbottom: 01706 48 9966
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