The Essential Guide to Buying a Property
For most people, buying a property will be one of the most expensive purchases they’ll ever make. Therefore taking the time out to consider all aspects of the buying decision is something that should never be taken lightly.
Because of the importance of getting it right, many people will find the buying experience to be a very stressful time and this can sometimes result in people forgetting to ask about some of the most vital things they need to know.
With that in mind, here are some of most essential things you’ll need to consider when buying a property.
Know your limits
Once you own a property, you’ll be responsible for all outgoing costs. Besides all of the monthly utility bills and taxes, you’ll also need to keep a track of mortgage repayments and other expenses that come with owning a property.
Do a bit of research to find out how much you’re likely to be paying for bills and utilities in the area you’re looking at so you’re not greeted with higher-than-presumed costs when the time comes for you to move in.
Before you buy, make sure you know what you can actually afford to spend. Calculate your regular expenses so you have a very clear idea of what money is coming in and going out. Be sure to over-budget, so you’ll have extra cash on hand for months when you have unexpected costs – such as house repairs or heating bills following a cold snap.
Know your property
Speaking of house repairs, make sure you know the ins and outs of the property. You can’t expect the property agency to tell you everything however, if you don’t ask then you may never know – until it’s too late.
Ask about the condition of the property – Ask when the property was built and if any serious repairs have been done in the past. It’s also important to ask things like the roof, plumbing and electricity. It might be boring stuff but it’s all necessary. Remember there are no silly questions, so be sure to ask them all. You’ll thank yourself later.
Does the property face north or south? This is one of the most important factors to consider and the answer will have a huge impact, affecting things like how much sun the garden gets during the summer to how much light your houseplants get.
If you’re worried that you will forget to ask all your burning questions on the day of the visit, simply create a checklist and go through the list as the estate agent shows you around the property. If you do still forget, ring up the property agency – they’ll be more than happy to help.
Know your area
You won’t get a full feel for the neighbourhood and surrounding area just by having one viewing. Arrange follow-ups for different times of the day so you can gather a better perception of how much the area changes between day and night.
If you drive a car, ask about parking spaces and traffic. Also be sure to ask about local transport links, not only will it help you in times you can’t use your car but it’ll also help you gather how busy or quiet the local area will be – especially during rush hour.
What things are close by to the property? It’s pretty important that you know where the closest doctors are just in case of an emergency and it’s also helpful to have a good idea of where the local shop is, school, etc.
Find out what the locals and neighbours are like. If you’re looking for a bit of peace and quiet, chances are you’re not going to want to live next door to a bunch of rowdy students.
Once you’ve got all the formalities and important things covered, you’ll want to be sure that the property is definitely for you. Does it look and feel right? Can you imagine yourself living there? Does it meet all your needs and requirements? Take the time out to consider all of this, and be sure you don’t make any brash decisions.
At LPC we know that buying a property is an important decision. We’re always here to help you with the process, so get in touch if you have any questions.