Choosing A Property
After you have spoken with several mortgage lenders, you are now in a position to seriously look at properties, but what properties should you look at? Before you start looking for new properties, it is best to make a few decisions about what type of property you are after.
‘Location, location, location’ is a famous estate agency saying, and it is a very good one. Obviously you should know what area of the country you would like to live in, but on a smaller scale, do you want to live in a city centre, or in the suburbs or in a village? Once you have narrowed done where you would like to live, it is good to do a bit of research about the area. Some of the things you might want to look at include:
- House Prices – what are the house prices like compared to surrounding areas?
- Environment – what is the area like? If you dont know the area you are moving too very well, try to visit it at several times of day, including the weekend.
- Infrastructure – what are transport links like? Do you need easy motorway access, or use public transport? Does the area become a nightmare at rush hour?
- Local Amenities – Are local shops good? If you have children (or planning to), will they have a safe play area?
- Schools – If you plan on sending children to school, what are the local schools like?
- Crime – It may be a good idea to ask the local police station about the crime rate in the area.
- Council tax bands are also worth investigating
Once you have narrowed down the area you would like to live in, what sort of property are you looking for? Are you looking for a semi-detached house, terraced, detached or a flat? What does your budget allow for in the area you plan to buy in? Would you like a garden, or would somewhere with less maintenance suit you better? Are you happy to carry out some DIY or pay for painting/decorating? Or would you like somewhere that is already to your taste?
Looking at properties
Now that you have decided on where you want to live and what type of property you are looking for, what should you look for in a house? It is easy to get carried away if you find a property you like the look of, but try to remain unemotional when looking at a property. When looking at a property, you might think you can remember everything you need to, but you wont, especially in a couple of weeks time when you have looked at 5 other houses. It is always a good idea to take some paper and a pen to make notes about the property – use our house viewing checklist so that all your notes for properties are in a similar format.
When you are looking around properties it easy to get carried away, imagining yourself living there, but try to stay objective and remember to look at things like the standard of the property. Remember to check things like the plumbing, heating, electrical system, any insulation. It is also worth looking at the standard of the brickwork and roofing. This way you can weed out any obviously poor properties, and only take interest in possible buys. It is still worth getting a professional survey carried out as the surveyors are qualified professionals who will find any problems that you might have misses with an otherwise well presented property.