Buying a home has always been a huge investment. In fact, for most people, this will undoubtedly be the most important purchase of their lives. Whether you’re stepping onto the property ladder for the very first time or hoping to upgrade your current home, you’ll want to take every precaution necessary to ensure you’re investing your money wisely.
Despite the elongated Brexit negotiations causing a slowdown in house price growth, the property market has remained remarkably active in recent months. According to the UK Property Transaction Statistics from HMRC, there were 101,780 home transactions in February 2019, signifying an increase of just under 3% when compared to February of last year.
Although properties are taking a little longer to sell than usual, there are still countless homes and property developments currently on the market; while the slowing house prices mean this could be a fantastic time to take the plunge and make an offer. Before you do that, however, you’ll need to make sure to ask the seller or developer all the right questions.
Are there any problems with the building?
This is where homebuyer surveys become so important. Although you might scoff at the costs involved, these reports will highlight any apparent problems with the property and could end up saving you a substantial amount of money in the long-run. Even if the survey doesn’t pull up any obvious issues with the property, at least you’ll be able to move in with complete peace of mind.
Of course, before forking out for a surveyor, you need to keep an eye out for potential issues when viewing the property yourself. From signs of rotting wood to full-blown subsidence and damp, you always need to thoroughly check the condition of the property before making any kind of offer. After all, the last thing you want to do is invest all of your hard-earned money into a home which is festering with woodworm.
Since a typical house viewing can flash by in seemingly no time at all, we recommend taking as many photographs as possible so you can take another look at everything later on. In addition, don’t be shy about asking to see the loft, basement or looking under the kitchen sink, since these areas are typically most prone to the issues mentioned above.
Where can I park?
According to the latest ONS figures, the number of households with two cars has increased by more than half a million in the past year. Now that vehicles are such an important part of modern family life, prospective buyers always need to assess the parking situation before deciding whether to purchase a property.
While some properties will come with ample off-road parking, this sadly isn’t always the case. If the property doesn’t offer a garage or driveway, then you’ll obviously have to either park on the street outside or another nearby location. Whether you own two cars or not, you’ll need to figure out where you’ll be able to park and how competitive it is for spaces.
What is the local area like?
Before moving to a new home, you should always ask the seller about the neighbourhood and nearby area. You’ll want to know about the transport links, entertainment, attractions and supermarkets within easy reach of the property, while also learning about the best restaurants, schools and shops.
Perhaps more importantly, you should also find out more about local crime rates and what the neighbours are like, since these factors could eventually prove decisive in your search for a new home. Although you might be staring gleamy-eyed at the property’s gorgeous design, you certainly shouldn’t let this distract you from learning more about the area you’d be living in.
Is there adequate broadband coverage?
For most of us, the internet plays an integral role in our daily lives. We use it to do our weekly shopping, stay connected with friends and catch up on our favourite TV shows, while a significant number of people now rely on a fast internet connection in order to work from home.
Unfortunately, a recent study from Ofcom found that over 700,000 homes in the UK receive inadequate broadband speeds, which will inevitably make life incredibly difficult if you’re a regular user. When buying a house, you should either ask the seller or do your own research on the local broadband speeds, and find out which provider offers the best coverage in the area.
Of course, internet speeds are never really a problem in built-up areas, so you shouldn’t have to worry if you’re moving to a city or busy town. However, if you’re interested in a property in a more rural location, looking into broadband coverage should certainly be near the top of your checklist.
What does the sale include?
Once the seller has named their price and you’ve had a good look around the property, you’ll need to find out what the sale actually includes. While it should be fairly obvious that you’ll be buying the home you’ve just been inspecting, you need to find out which fixtures and fittings are included in the price, while also confirming where the boundaries of the property lie.
If you’re hoping to find a new home, then you’ll be delighted to hear that Blackmore currently have a fantastic selection of property developments for sale. You can browse our range today to find out exactly what we have available, while you can also take a closer look at some of our upcoming future developments!