Although it’s very exciting it can be a little nerve racking buying a house, after all it is one of the biggest financial transactions of your life. You perhaps don’t have any knowledge or experience about buying a house, don’t know what you should be looking out for and what questions you should be asking when viewing properties.
Hopefully this post will help you along the way.
Try to find out why the owner is selling – this could give you an indication about whether they will accept a lower offer. It might be because they are moving away for work and are in a hurry to sell. Alternatively, it might be because of an issue that will affect you.
Use the following checklist as a starting point for questions to ask and things to look at:
• Is there adequate parking?
• Is there enough or too much garden? Will you be able to maintain it?
• Can you see or smell damp, and is there any condensation or mould anywhere? Don’t be afraid to ask to move furniture or check under rugs. Check for flaky plaster or water marks on the walls or ceiling.
• Will any of the rooms need redecorating or need new flooring?
• Has any redecorating work recently been carried out, and if so, why? Are the sellers trying to cover up damp or cracks?
• Check the loft/attic – is it easily accessible, is there storage space, and is it insulated?
• Ask to see the Energy Performance Certificate so that you know how energy efficient the property is.
• Find out where the boiler is, how old it is and when it was last serviced.
• Check the electrics – when was the consumer unit or fuse box last checked? Are there any exposed wires?
• Are there smoke alarms and burglar alarms, and do they work?
• Are the windows double glazed, do they open and close easily, do they have good locks?
• How secure are the doors and locks?
• Are there enough power sockets and phone points in convenient locations?
• Is there enough storage for all your belongings?
• Can you get a mobile phone signal in the property?
These questions shouldn’t necessarily stop you purchasing a house, but they might stop there being any surprises after you have bought the house – It might also help you to justify a lower offer.
If you would like anymore advice on this please don’t hesitate to contact your nearest PFK office.