Buying a new home can be a really stressful time, after all, you want it to be perfect.
However, we can make this a lot easier for you. We have a lot of clients that ask us for advice when buying their new home. A lot of our sellers do it when purchasing their next property. Did you know that we can actually buy your property on your behalf and help save you thousands on the price? Find out more here.
We have taken a list from our property experts of the main factors that they look out for when representing a buyer. From looking at the street view (what’s this) of the property to what to look for when you walk through the front door. Even down to inspecting the back garden, we have created an informative list of things you should be looking out for when you do a viewing of what could potentially be your new home:
Check The Roofing and Guttering
This is not a deal breaker however it is important to check that each element of the roof is still intact. Roof repairs can be really costly so you want to try and find these issues (if there are any) before you purchase the property. Disrepair can cause leaks especially if there are issues with the guttering too which can cause further damage and cost much more money if you leave it until it’s too late.
What does the property look like from the street? Take a walk up and down the road and take a look at the property. Have a think of what you NEED to change and what you would LIKE to change. Make a list of these changes and price them up later. Think about the front garden if there is one, it may look nice now, but how easy will it be to maintain?
Check For Cracks
You only need to worry about large cracks (usually cracks that you can fit a ten pence coin in), bowed walls and displaced chimneys. If you do find something that looks suspicious, ask your agent if this has been dealt with. It is important that you ask because it may be a historical crack (a crack that hasn’t moved for years) that the seller has dealt with. Sometimes cracks can appear and not get any worse – so it’s not always bad news. However, you will need to consider the costs of repair when buying if the crack is more recent – because it could be a structural damage. Sometimes it’s worth getting a structural engineer or surveyor to take a look at the building.
Check The Windows, Doors and Locks
You need to make sure that all doors, both internal and external, shut properly and that the external doors and windows lock. Make sure they are all in good, working condition and the keys are provided for each window and door. Make sure to check that the locks are up to date. You need to question anything that may effect your safety, privacy or cost when you move in.
Are the windows double glazed, think about energy saving and how the windows will save you money on heating.
We have already mentioned the front garden, but don’t forget to consider the back garden too. A big garden that has been looked after is great but will you be able to do the same? Think about the time, cost and maintenance required to look after it.
Is the garden south facing? Consider how much sunlight the property will get. If it is north facing, it will most likely be in the shade a lot.
Check Your Phone Signal
Probably one of the most important things to consider when buying a home in this day and age. Imagine finally moving into your dream home and finding out there is no signal. Now a lot of people would find this blissful however think of the problems this will cause in the future. Take this into account BEFORE you consider a purchase.
Storage space is really important, especially if you are a big family. Make sure you have a good look around the property and make a mental note on all the storage facilities. When you are blown away by everything else that is amazing about a house it is easy to forget about storage, don’t fall into that net! If the agent is good then just ask them their opinion and they should be honest. Don’t forget, when you move in, you want to keep your clutter to a minimum.
What Items Are Included?
Ask the agent what items in the property are included in the sale. It may save you a lot of time and money in the future because you won’t have to purchase them yourself. However, you also want to know about the items that you won’t want. You will need to ask for these items to be removed when the sellers leave or consequently it will cost you money to remove.
It is worth noting that some of these items can be considered chattels (personal property that can be moved) and would therefore not be taxable – this is something really handy to know when you are close to a stamp duty band threshold.
Keep an eye out for smells like cigarette smoke, animals/pets and damp that you think may be present in the property. Some smells (like pets), can easily be treated however smoke damage and damp can be a lot harder, use your sense of smell when you go into a property to spot these issues, particular damp in the kitchen and bathrooms. (Find our more here)
It sounds like a really small and insignificant factor but think about where the power outlets are placed in a room and how this would effect your room layout or cause you problems. Is there enough of them? If not, consider how much it would cost to add more and add this to your budget. Also, are they safe and in good working condition?
Do The Radiators Work?
Ask the agent if they can switch the central heating system on, test the radiators for warmth and listen for any noisy pipes or leaks.
Make A Note Of Any Decorating You Will Have To Do
It is very unlikely you will find a property that is decorated exactly how you would like it to be, everyone has different tastes. It is important that when you view a property that you make a mental or physical note of the changes you would like to make and work out the costs later. You will need to consider this when purchasing.
Are The Rooms Suitable Sizes?
First things first, if you are planning on moving your current furniture into your new property, then make sure you take a list of furniture measurements and a tape measure and make a comparision, will the furniture fit in the rooms – this could potential save you a lot of money and heart ache in the future.
How Old Is The Boiler?
Old boilers can be expensive to replace so be sure to check this first, it’s not the end of the world, but you will need to consider the cost of replacing it in the future. You will also need to consider running costs, older boilers tend to be more costly to run (so it may work out cheaper for you to replace it).
Is There A Loft?
Loft space can be really useful for storage and an easy way to reduce clutter but don’t forget it also holds the potential for another room. Find out if anyone else in the area has done a loft conversion, it’s something that you may need to consider in the future.
Turn On The Showers And Taps (Ask First)
Testing the showers and taps will give you an idea about what the water pressure is like in the property. It will also give you a good idea on how long it takes for the water to warm up.
Find Out More Information About The Local Area
Think about how close you are to local amenities and whether this is an issue or not. Think about public transport and when roads become busy at certain times of the day. Take a look at the other properties in the area, are they being looked after?