The first rule you should give yourself when property hunting is, do not get too attached to a property. Yes you need to be able to see yourself living in the property but don’t let that idea run away with you. If you start thinking with your heart and not your head you might miss a crucial issue that could rear it’s ugly head down the line. I know this can be very difficult but if you can detach yourself a little and start looking at it objectively and impartially you will be able to see the bigger picture. It is worth taking a ‘3rd party’ along with you when viewing properties to try and keep you grounded.
First on my little checklist, make sure you check the property’s condition thoroughly. Maybe this sounds a little obvious, but look out for any ‘essential’ repairs that you will expect in the next few years. Look at the boiler, the electrics, are there any damp patches or is there a musty smell? A new boiler, re-wiring the house or fixing an underlying damp problem are potentially costly, if you aren’t deterred by ‘issues’ you find you can use these to your advantage when negotiating a purchase price. If you still wish to pursue the property make sure you get an independent survey to assess the property in more detail.
Next you should consider the general improvements you would want to make to the property. Don’t go making decisions based solely on a ‘pipe dream’ of what the house may look like after all those changes. I am not saying don’t dream but be realistic about the cost and if they will actually happen.
You also need to consider what the area surrounding the property is like. Consider what the local schools are like, are you near a busy road or train track, are there any shops within walking distance or would you need to drive or use public transport and what the transport links are like. You should also visit at different times of the day to get more of a feel of the area around the property.
The above only covers a few points that you need to consider when looking at a property purchase. Bear them in mind and do further research on the internet. The most important thing is trying your hardest to ensure you would be happy in your new home.
Daniel Brown BSc (Hons), Cert SMP
29th January 2018