Finding your first home should be an informed decision-based process, as opposed to rushing into buying the first home you see. It is important to learn as much as possible about each home you visit to ensure it is right for you. In order to do that, here are the key questions you should always ask on a viewing.
One of the common mistakes made by first-time buyers is rushing into buying a home without making informed decisions. It is remarkably easy to fall in love with a property based on first appearances, but there are many additional factors to consider outside of looks.
In order to avoid any nasty surprises during the buying process or on completion, you need to research and find out as much about the property as possible.
Estate agents are legally bound to be honest and truthful about the properties they are selling, so it is crucial to ask as many questions as possible during the viewing stage.
In order to find out the fundamentals of the property you intend to view, you should ask the estate agent or vendor the following questions.
The reasoning behind the move can is a solid foundation from which you can learn about the property. If the circumstances relate to the vendor wanting to upsize or downsize, this will stem from their personal preferences in size, and isn’t anything negative to hold against the property. If they are looking to move as a result of anti-social behaviour in the area or issues with neighbours, you should factor these considerations in. After all, you aren’t just buying a home, you are also buying into the local community and area.
In addition to finding out why they are selling where possible, it is also worth finding out how they have spent living in the property. If they have only spent a minimal amount of time living there before looking to sell on, there could be negative reasoning behind it. The reasons behind moving after a short amount of time could be entirely innocent (such as needing to relocate due to work or family), but it is worth finding out to ensure there are no red flags.
The current condition of the housing market is seeing healthy growth in property value. If the property you are viewing hasn’t grown much in value, perhaps look at the reasons why. When/if you come to sell your property on, ideally you will want to benefit from the growth in value. Properties declining in value will cost you in the long-term. Each of our branches and team have detailed monthly market reports to give you an overview of the local property market, and allow you to identify the key factors behind the growth or decline in the local area.
Given the current demand in the property market, some homes can be listed as ‘Sold STC’ on the property portals within a matter of days. In instances where properties are struggling to sell or have been on the market for an extended period of time, there may be room for negotiation relating to the asking price.
It is crucial to understand what work has been done/needs to be done to any property. Buying your first home is one of the largest financial commitments you will make, and any major work required will further add to the cost. It is also worth noting this so you can plan to get any works done prior to moving in. Re-wiring a property for example is much easier to do when it is unfurnished and awaiting redecoration!
A sales chain can determine the length of time before you can move into the property. If the seller is waiting to complete on a property before vacating, then you will find yourself waiting potentially a long time before you can claim the keys.
For total transparency, you should find out exactly what is included with the property. Be that any white goods/furnishings left behind by the vendor, through to external buildings such as garages and outhouses. There are instances where you may believe you have access or use to an external structure, but it may not be on the deeds and therefore not yours as part of the house purchase. Enquire about the land to see your boundaries.
Buying a freehold property means you own the property and its land outright without having to pay any additional fees. A leasehold property, however, means you will own the property for the duration of a lease outlined by the freeholder. There are considerations to make such as service charges for leasehold properties. Knowing whether a property is freehold or leasehold upfront allows you to budget for any additional charges.
Whilst you are looking to buy a property in the present, you need to consider the future as well. There are certain developments that will impact the price of the property, whether it is for the better or worse. New schools will create interest from families, and they are generally more willing to pay premiums to be close to local schools. On the other side of the coin, there could be new production facilities being built which could be noisy, and thus deduct the value from your property.
You may also find that you have your own questions when on a property viewing. It is better when looking to get your foot on the property ladder to ask more questions than none. As an informed decision-driven process, you ought to ask as many questions and do as much research as possible.
If you’re looking to buy, why not take a look at our available properties and see if there are any meeting your criteria? All our experienced viewing representatives are more than happy to answer any questions you may have whilst on a viewing. To contact your nearest branch, click here.