Looking for a new house can be a giddy time for many – the possibilities that come with a new building, a blank canvas and some extra space are deeply exciting. But its easy to get carried away on the market, and sometimes houses do not present their more difficult side until after you’ve completed. We’ll look at some of the key ways you can minimise the risks in house-hunting, and ensure your new home is the worry-free destination it should be.
Hunt carefully, and within budget
Again, it can be easy to get carried away when the property brochure is in front of you. But there are some important budgetary considerations you need to make before you sign up for viewings. Firstly, you need to be aware of the hidden costs in moving house. Your budget might have you looking at houses of a certain price, but without having thought about the added costs of stamp duty, mortgage fees, conveyance fees, solicitors, and removal – all of which can add up to a significant percentage of your home’s value. Be sure you have enough money to afford the home and these fees – and if it turns out you’re under-budget, all the better for any potential repairs you might need to complete…
Examine the house on your viewing
If you’ve chosen a house to view, don’t let yourself get swept away by its superficial features. Keep focus, and look out for some tell-tale signs that might indicate the house is not in tip-top condition. Check the exterior walls from the inside – does the bottom of the wall look or feel damp? Same for the corners in the upper floors – damp corners could indicate roof tiles that need replacing. Check the boiler situation – might you need to shop for new boilers for the property? Examine the windows – are they double glazing, and is there condensation between the glazes?
If you know your structural stuff, examine the outside for evidence of subsidence, and if there’s a cellar get down there and look at the foundational brickwork. Examining all of these things will give you an upper-hand as far as initial decisions go, as well as an early indicator of the cost of renovating the house.
The importance of a property survey
The property survey, though they can get somewhat expensive, is your last port of call for any home renovation information. At this point, you are more or less happy with the house you’ve viewed and willing to sign contracts; the survey exists to find anything and everything that you didn’t. A chartered surveyor will provide you with a detailed report of the house’s current and potential future issues, giving you a chance to negotiate the house’s price with the seller and find the best possible deal – enabling you to afford the renovation costs and move in without a hitch.