Monday, January 30, 2017

Buying a House: What Should I Look For?

What features really matter when you’re buying a home? It’s easy to have a huge wish list of things you hope to achieve with your budget, but it’s very unlikely you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for. Homes are so personal, you need to have a bit of creative vision to be able to see potential in a property (rather than expect it to have everything you want already). However, there are a couple of things that you shouldn’t compromise on, and that do need to be right for your needs. This is because they can’t be changed once you move in, or are very expensive and difficult to fix. Here are some points to bear in mind.


The Area

While you can make changes to the house itself, you can’t modify the area. If you’ve done your research you might be able to snag a great deal on a house that’s in an up and coming neighbourhood which will improve in the next few years- although there are of course risks to this. A bad house in a nice area is a far better investment than a nice house in a bad area. It can be tempting to overlook things when you feel like you’ve found your perfect home, but it’s important to weigh up everything. Are there good schools and parks nearby? You might not have children now, but what about if you decide to in the future? How noisy is the street itself and is there a lot of traffic? Be sure to visit at different times of the day so you can be sure. You don’t want to invest in a home and then realize a noisy bus zooms past every half an hour for a huge part of the day! What is the crime rate like in the area? There are plenty of sites that you can freely look up this information online. There’s a lot to think about when you’re buying a home, but the area the house is in shouldn’t be overlooked.

The Plumbing, Air Conditioning and Electrics

If you’re planning on doing a full renovation, stripping the property back to its bare bones and starting again, then this won’t be important. But if you’re looking for a move-in ready home or one that’s not a massive project, then these are crucial. Full house rewiring, plumbing and having air conditioning installed from scratch can be expensive. If a system is already in place you could simply have air conditioning maintenance work and gas and electric checks done, to bring them up to a good standard. If these are jobs that will need completely redoing, the price of the property should be lowered to reflect this. Having a survey done can prevent you from uncovering nasty and expensive surprises when you get in the home. Issues such as asbestos, Japanese Knotweed and structural problems will need to be addressed by professionals, so don’t be caught short. They’re things that can run into many thousands of pounds to sort, so go into it with your eyes open.


The Size of the Garden

You think you’ve found the perfect property, but the garden is tiny. In your excitement, it can be easy to think ‘oh well, we’ll make do for a great house.’ But you could come to regret your decision later down the line, so be sure that you really can live with it. If you want to extend in the future this will cut into any outside space you have too, so you may be limiting your options with a small garden. Unlike the house which you can extend and rejig the rooms to maximize space, when it comes to the backyard you’re stuck with what you have. So if you’ve always dreamed about space to throw family barbecues and entertain friends in the summer, think carefully. It might be better to continue your search to make sure this is a box that gets ticked.

Here are just some essentials on what you should look for when you are buying a home. What do you want in a home? Comment down below!

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