Ask before you BUY…

The questions you must ask before you buy a house… 

Before you buy your next house make sure you ask these questions 

Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases most people will make, so it’s vital to be well organised before handing over your money.

Once you’ve found your dream home there are a lot of other things to consider and doing some research first could save you a lot of money in the long term.

So before you sign on the dotted line make sure you ask these essential questions.

1. Do you have to move?

The first question you should ask yourself is if you really need to move house. This depends on your circumstances, but if you’re moving for a new job it may be more cost effective to rent.

2. Can you afford it?

A surprising amount of people have not spoken with mortgage brokers before they start looking and are then seriously disappointed when they can’t afford the house they have fallen in love with.

3. How much space do you need?

Moving is expensive and stressful. Therefore to minimise the number of times you do it, think of how much space you need – both now and in the future.

If you’re planning a family then more rooms will be needed. Similarly, check out the garden space to see if there’s any potential for building an extension.

4. Is it the best location ?

When you find a house, don’t just consider the building but look around at the local area as well. It’s also worth checking out local public transport links, shops and schools.

If you’re unfamiliar with an area it may be worth renting there first before you buy.

5. Will it be safe to live in?

It’s hard to get a thorough impression of a property without living there, so research as much as you can, by checking local crime levels, speaking to the neighbors and asking about potential risks of flooding.

6. Will you still love it in five years?

Buying a house on a whim is never advisable as it’s likely you won’t live there for life. So make sure you’re not buying a house which will end up being impossible to resell.

Visiting at different times of the day will also help give you a more well-rounded view of the place, along with taking as many photos as you can.

7. Is it right for your family?

A beautiful country cottage may sound like the perfect getaway, but once your teenagers grow up they won’t thank you for it.

Make sure you’re close enough to local schools and amenities and before you buy do a trial run of your commute to work.

8. Buying leasehold?

If you’re buying a leasehold property find out how long the lease runs for and the price of renewing it.

We also recommend checking what the service charge and ground rent, It’s a good idea to find out which management company will look after the property.

9. What’s included with the house and how old is it?

Look beyond the bricks and mortar at what comes with your new home and what state appliances are in. Things to look out for include whether the energy is gas or electric, how old the boiler is, any extra appliances, such as fridges or cookers which are included, the price of Council Tax and the state of the paintwork and walls.

Parking spaces can also be an added cost, so check there’s enough room if you have a car and if it’s an area with permit parking.

The size of the outdoor space can add to the price significantly and also to the value when re-selling.

10Why are the current owners moving?

If you get a chance to speak to the people moving out, find out how long they’ve lived in the property, why they’re moving and where to. This will give you an indication of any potential problems with the house and the area.

As a rule of thumb if they’ve been there a while there should be fewer problems.


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