The Questions To Ask When Viewing A Home
A trusted estate agent is an invaluable source of information when it comes to purchasing a house. Some people will agonise for hours over whether they should spend fifty quid on a top they like, but the average house purchase is decided within 25 minutes! When you consider that you will be spending hundreds of thousands of pounds, asking the right questions is essential, so take advantage of your estate agent and their wealth of knowledge to find out the following:
How long the property has been on the market.
The economy goes up and down, and with it, so do house sales, however, on average it takes around 12 weeks to sell a property. If the house you like has been on the market for longer than that, it is worth investigating why. It could be something as simple as the location or the price not being to the majority's liking, but it could also be because there are issues relating to the property that you have not spotted, so it's definitely worth asking about.
If there has been much interest in the property.
If you find a property that gives you a shimmer of excitement, it's likely that other people will be feeling the same way about it. Find out how many viewings the property has had and if any offers have been made. Whilst your estate agent is unable to disclose amounts offered, they will definitely be able to advise and give you an indication of the property's popularity.
Why the current owners are moving and how long they've lived in the property.
It's always useful to find out if the property is a much-loved home. Even if the owners have only lived in the property for a short period of time, there may be genuine reasons as to why they're moving, such as relocation of a job, or for family reasons, however, asking the question could flag any potential issues such as disputes with neighbours (sellers are legally obliged to divulge this information), or problems relating to the property or land.
What the area is like.
The internet holds a wealth of information, but there's nothing like hearing it first-hand from someone who knows the area well. Dig for information regarding local schools and facilities such as a local doctor, hospital, vet, supermarket or anything else that is pertinent to you. You can easily transform a house, but the area is something you need to be happy with. Find out if your estate agent would be happy to live there!
Discovering that your beautiful shower barely produces enough water to wet a tissue is something you can do without on your first morning in your new home. When viewing properties, make sure you check the plumbing and water pressure (it's polite to ask before you start turning on taps!). It might not be high on your list of priorities, but it's good to find out what you're getting.
The house might be within your budget, but check that local utility costs such as the council tax band, gas and electric (or oil if you're rural) and water rates etc. are also budget-friendly. Checking the local broadband speed and mobile signal is also useful.
When the vendors intend to move.
If the sellers are buying a new property, ask if they have they already found it and if so, how far along they are in the process. Buying chain-free is ideal, but it isn't always possible; long chains can cause complications and delays. Find out what their situation is, and if they're keen to move quickly. If they are buying but haven't yet found a property, enquire as to whether they will they consider moving into rented accommodation.
Is the garden south-facing (or north-facing if you hate the sun!)?
If you're planning on renovating extensively, check if any restrictions apply; this is possible if the property is listed, or if it's in a conservation area.
Keep your eyes (and nose) peeled for any cover-ups. If you can smell fresh paint, it may mean that the sellers are covering issues such as cracks or damp. Of course, they may have just given the property a lick of paint so it looks as good as it can for viewers.
You'll want to fall in love with your new home, but listen to your head as well as your heart before making a purchase.
For more advice when buying a property, call Anthony on 07369 269627 today!