Nine Questions for First-Time Property Buyers
The real estate market is slowly recovering although the COVID-19 pandemic is not over. People all around the UK are looking for new homes and many of the buyers are newcomers to the market.
Better safe than sorry is a well-known saying and it applies to property purchases as well. Homebuyers sometimes regret that they did not ask key questions during their talks with the owners or realtors. Here are nine essential questions to help you find the right house and to get to know your new neighbourhood.
1. Why are the owners selling?
This information will help you in two ways. First, you will know how fast the owners need to sell the property. This will then tell you if you can negotiate the price. If they need to sell the property fast, they will be more willing to negotiate.
You may also find out details about the property and the previous owners that will help you see if this is the right investment for you.
2. How long is the house on the market?
Check how long the property is listed because this will also help you negotiate the price. If the owners are waiting for longer than six months to sell the property, they will be more willing to reduce the price.
However, have in mind that we are amid a pandemic so properties were not up for sale. If you want to see the real picture consider the time before the pandemic, that is, before March. If the owners listed the lot last year you have a pretty good chance to negotiate.
3. Did they do any building work?
Before you move to a new house you should do a structural survey. But you can also find out key information during the talk with the owners. Ask about the construction work done on the house and also check if it can be extended.
4. What about the parking?
Many houses don’t have a garage or parking space. You should make sure that you have the potential to create one if you do need it.
Furthermore, if you need disabled parking on the main road this is also possible. Do not hesitate to contact the local council and make the arrangements.
5. Ask about the bills.
First, ask about the local council tax. Then take a look at the energy efficiency certificate (EPC), you can find it on the property listing.
The EPC rates the property from A to G and it also tells you if you can improve the rating.
6. Ask if the owner is in a chain?
People often need to sell their old property before they can buy a new one. Therefore, they cannot pay for their new house until they sell the old one. This gives you leverage in negotiation. If they are part of a property chain like this you can negotiate on the price because this will speed up the process.
7. Ask about the local issues.
Ask around about the area and make sure that there are no unpleasant secrets. Google the area you want to move into. Also, you can ask around to see if people like living there. Make sure you have everything you need around your house.
8. What else is part of the sale?
Sometimes the owners will leave you furniture and household appliances. This will help you settle in faster. On the other hand, if you have appliances you can sell the old ones and get extra cash. That always comes in handy.
9. What are your new neighbours like?
Lastly, check who will be living next to you. Your neighbourhood can make even the best property seem like life in hell. Introduce yourself to a few neighbours and ask about the people in the street to see if you will end up living next to people you may not like that much.