Ultimate guide to buying a house


Buying a house can be both exciting and stressful, but how do you ensure that you get it right? Read our guide on the top things to consider when buying a property.

Attend several viewings

Your home is probably the biggest investment you will ever make, so don’t make a snap decision about it after just one viewing. Second, third and even fourth visits can be very helpful in allowing you to spot potential issues that weren’t immediately obvious at the start.

Take a friend or partner with you

If you have fallen in love with a particular property, it can be difficult to view it in an objective manner – which will make identifying any problem areas almost impossible. Ask your friend or partner to give you their feedback to help you make your decision.

Test run

When you go to view the property, don’t be afraid to test things out. Try the light switches, flush the toilet and try door handles and locks. These might not be deal breakers, but if there are minor issues like this, you can ask the vendor to fix them before you move in and save yourself a lot of hassle.

Talk to the vendor

Ask questions: find out how old the property is, and ask the vendor about any history of flooding in the area and any other potential area specific matters. You can also get an idea on the value of surrounding property by checking how much other homes are in the area via sites such as Goodmove. With this information at hand you can negotiate when it comes to the price.

Talk to the neighbours

Ask them about their experiences of living in the area, and you’ll also be able to get a good idea of the kind of neighbours they might be if you move in.

Get a comprehensive survey

No matter how vigilant you are at spotting potential problems with a property, there is no substitute for a professional survey. Don’t just get the minimum as required by your mortgage provider – get the most comprehensive survey you can afford. Although this may seem like an unnecessary expense at the outset, it can save you a lot of time, money and hassle in the long run.

Don’t be afraid to haggle

If you’re buying a house for the first time, it is easy to assume that you have to pay the full asking price. If you or your surveyor have spotted a few issues with the property, but you’re still happy to go ahead – you can use these as tools for negotiating on the price.

Don’t forget to factor in your legal costs

Taxes, solicitor’s fees and various other expenses should be included in your budget.

Get an app

There are lots of great apps that can help you to find your dream house. You can find out about things like crime rates for the area you’re thinking of; ideas on interiors and how to get the best possible insurance policy for your new home. Apps often come with handy guides, which allow you to save time and money when you’re buying a property.

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