Buying your first home can seem daunting. There's so much to take in, so much to do and mixed with just about every emotion going it can seem utterly overwhelming. I had such a horrendous time with my purchase that I thought I'd share my ultimate buyers checklist!
Once we had finally got our move date, the real horror began for us. From having to replace the boiler and radiators, discovering the shed was full of white mould, the kitchen needed replacing, there was a gas leak, the en-suite leaked into our living room and loads more hidden horrors to boot we really didn't know where to begin. Our move from offer to moving day, took just over 8 months and I was seriously ready to throw in the towel, so I've compiled a few of my top things to do when buying a property!
So once you've found your perfect home the first and probably most important thing you can do is you to get yourself a good property solicitor - seriously they make the paperwork and transaction so easy. Solicitors such as Slater Gordon can seriously help move your purchase along and keep you updated along the way.
Mortgage brokers are worth their weight in gold, seriously. We found ours through the estate agent we purchased our house from and she was amazing. We sat down, went through all our finances and figured out the perfect mortgage which before hand I had no idea about. From interest only to fixed term, she explained everything and helped us pick one that worked for us!
Get a Surveyor and get the most expensive survey you can afford. With this said Surveyors aren't allowed to climb up ladders, move things or open anything without your permission, as we found out when the previous owner of our house decided to tell him a door was locked and she couldn't find the key..... They will however give you a very good insight into potential problems or issues and this could effect the value.
If your mortgaging a property you'll need to have buildings insurance. This is a standard thing as most banks like to know that should the worst happen the property is covered. You can get the policy to start on the day you become the legal owner but you need to have proof that you have it sorted and ready to go.
Visit the property more than once. In fact you should re-visit lots. Go during the day, in the morning, at night, at weekends and if you can, talk to the neighbours. Naturally the homeowner is going to say anything to get you to buy their home, so make sure your not setting yourself up for a world of late night parties, troublesome neighbours or loitering youths.
This might seem like a strange one but ask about the properties energy efficiency ratings. Most estate agents will have these on the advert for the property and although it sounds totally dull, these can make a serious difference to your piggy bank once you move in. If it has a low rating, it means while things can be improved it's going to cost you additional money, plus the lower the rating the more expensive everything's going to be to run.
Write down an area checklist. What kind of area do you want to live in? Does it have a good school district (even if you don't want or have kids, the closer it is to a good school the better for the house prices...)? Are the neighbours quiet? Is there a lot of traffic? Will parking be an issue? Where's the nearest shop? Where's the closest bus stop?
What's the general upkeep of the property like? The current homeowners are of course going to make an effort to make the property look nice to entice you to purchase but what's the state of the things in it? While a few coats of paint can hide a multitude of sins, looking at the condition of furniture, floors, light switches, plug sockets etc can seriously help you. If someone doesn't take care of their belongings, chances are they aren't going to take care of the property they are in either.
Don't be afraid to ask to view things or to ask questions. You wouldn't go clothes shopping and only try one leg of a pair of jeans on before buying them!
Until next time,