Asking the right questions
The house hunting process can be stressful and it can sometimes be almost too easy to overlook some of the most important pieces of information you really need to know. So, we have put together this article to ensure that you are equipped with all the questions you should ask yourself, the estate agent and/or the seller every time you go to view a property.
1. How much can I afford to borrow?
It is important to think about what would happen if your circumstances were to change because you could end up struggling to meet your mortgage repayments. Sit down and estimate what you think the cost of your other bills will be and give yourself a bit of a buffer to factor in the unexpected expenses that sometimes come with home ownership. These figures should help you to determine the size of the mortgage you can afford and give you a good idea as to the types of properties that are available within your budget.
2. What is included in the sale?
- White goods and garden sheds can add up quickly and you could save money in the long run if these items come with the property.
- If you are looking to secure a new build mortgage, make sure you get the developers to list exactly what is included in the asking price and what is not.
3. Am I looking to purchase a property in the right area?
If you do want to explore this route, look for signs that the area is likely to experience an up-turn in the near future. Indications include new properties being built and business investments being made; these are often signs that you’re looking in an area that could yield a significant return on your investment.
4. Why is the seller selling the property?
Remember, sellers will not always be particularly forthcoming in their answers, particularly if they think something might affect the saleability or price of their property.
If any of their responses don’t quite ring true, this could be an indicator that something is amiss.
5. How long has the seller lived in the property and are there any concealed issues that you should be aware of?
Equally, however, if the property has been owned by a single owner for decades, you should ensure that crucial maintenance tasks have not been neglected over the years. It is also a good idea to drive or walk around the local area at different times of the day to monitor any potential congestion, parking or safety issues.
6. How long has the property been on the market and how much interest has it had?
Alternatively, if a property you love has been on the market for some time, the vendor might consider accepting a lower offer which could reduce your mortgage payments or free up extra funds to channel into making some refurbishments to the property. In this situation, you should always enquire whether there are any problems that have prevented the property from selling previously. If the estate agent is aware of any issues that were highlighted by previous surveys, they are required to pass this information on to you.
7. How do I decide which survey to select?
There are a variety of different surveys available and which one you select will ultimately be determined by the type of property you are interested in purchasing, how much detail you want the survey to go into and how much you are willing to pay. If, for example, you are hoping to obtain a new build mortgage, an RICS condition report might be the ideal option for you because the property should be covered by the Buildmark or NHBC Certificate.
8. What should I look out for when the survey has been completed?
9. Has the seller had any issues with the neighbours?
If, following your purchase of the property, you believe that the vendor did not provide you with the appropriate information, you might have the option to take legal action against them.
It is also worth asking the estate agents about the neighbours as well because if they know of any issues, they are obligated to share these with you.
10. Have there been any planning permission applications submitted for nearby land or properties?
While you might have hoped that the hard work would end as soon as you had saved your deposit and got ‘the feeling’ when you stepped through the door of your dream home for the first time, it is crucial to look through the small print to ensure that you move ahead with the purchase of a property that is 100% right for you. From researching your potential new neighbourhood to triple-checking your budget and requesting an appropriate survey to check for structural issues, stepping up to put the work in ahead of your purchase will give you the peace of mind that you are making the right decision.
If you have any questions or queries related to purchasing a property as a first-time buyer or obtaining a new build first time buyer mortgage and would like to speak to an expert, please call The Mortgage Hut today on 02380 980304 or enquire online here.
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Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
There may be a fee for mortgage advice. The actual amount you pay will depend upon your circumstances. The fee is up to 1.5%, but a typical fee is 0.3% of the amount borrowed.