When it comes to buying a new home, there can be plenty of things to think about, is the kitchen big enough, have the sellers taken out wills and probate insurance, is the morning commute doable and will there be space for the kids to play?
However, there are some things that many of us forget to consider and without doing so, this could be detrimental to the quality of living the property provides.
If you are looking for a new home, we strongly recommend you consider the following.
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- Things to Know Before Buying a House
Will The Lender Like The Property?
Lenders don’t have to be happy with the aesthetic of your new potential home or the neighbour it is in, but they still need to agree to it.
When mortgage lenders provide the funds for purchasing a home, they need to be safe in the knowledge that their investment is worth it.
All lenders vary but common property types that lenders are reluctant to lend on are the following. Anything not constructed with typical bricks and mortar and character homes and listed buildings.
Flats over shops are another common property lenders do not like investing in, alongside leaseholds with less than 80 years.
This doesn’t mean you can never get a mortgage on these properties but you may need a discussion with a mortgage broker to find the best options.
Having a bad neighbour can lead to a horrible experience while living in a property, especially if there are shared areas such as gardens, driveways and hallways.
While you can’t interview every neighbour, there’s no harm in knocking on doors and just checking-in while viewing a property. Typically you’ll have a nicer living experience next to an older couple than a house packed with rowdy students.
Neighbours can also give a candid insight into the neighbourhood and the landlord of leasehold properties. Remember, estate agents aren’t always completely upfront as they are just trying to make a sale, the neighbours can answer any questions you have honestly.
Having a good connection is crucial to modern living. Just because your chosen broadband provider has great coverage in your current home, it doesn’t mean they can provide the same in a new property.
Before placing an offer, call your provider and see what speeds the new area can get, if it isn’t adequate, see what other providers are able to give.
During your viewings, check your mobile phone signal and 4G. There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to make calls in your own home, especially as few of us no longer have landlines.
A large, well-manicured garden can be a great selling point, but is it right for you? While the current owner may have spent hours obsessing over every grass and leaf to make it look perfect, do you really have the time to do this?
A garden can quickly turn to disarray if not properly taken care of and can be costly to have fixed professionally.
Make sure you think about the upkeep of outside space, how much time are you prepared to give to maintain your garden?
If you’ve never experienced poor water pressure before, you won’t understand how much it can impact your morning routine. While surveys will pick up on if there are any major plumbing issues, the pressure isn’t something surveyors are concerned about.
Ask your estate agent if you can test the shower head and taps and ensure that pressure is right for you and your family. If it isn’t up to scratch, you can always negotiate a reduction in the price to have it rectified once you have moved in.
Staging is becoming increasingly popular with vendors. New furniture, fancy technology and a trendy colour scheme can transform even the drabbest of properties.
You need to look past this. Remember, once you have moved in, all this furniture (unless otherwise agreed) will be gone. You are paying for the structure of the building and that is what you should be looking at.
A new paint job can be incredibly deceptive, so take the time to check walls for cracks and damp.
Nowadays, a large percentage of properties have had some form of an extension added since it was first built. From conservatories to loft conversions, you need to make sure all proper procedures were followed when this happened.
Even if the current sellers didn’t make these alterations, they should still have proof from previous owners that planning permission was obtained.
If this isn’t provided, you could be liable as the new owner should authorities question this, even if the extension has been there for decades. If the right paperwork isn’t produced, you must insist on planning permission indemnity insurance, this cost should be covered by the vendor.
A typical roof’s life span is 15-20, so when was it last replaced on the property you are thinking about buying?
Not every survey will reveal the condition of the roof and it’s unlikely you are able to check yourself. Knowing how old the roof is will reveal how long you have until you have a potentially large expense.
Restrictive covenants are stipulations written into the title deeds that prevent certain things from happening on the property. This could be anything from not allowing animals to no satellite dishes and even a ban on running a business from your own home.
Your conveyancer will flag these up early in the process, but this is after offers have been made and you may already feel committed to the property. Estate agents should have copies of the title deeds to share and can help you to find any restrictive covenants that could impact your living.
If there is one in the deeds that you don’t like, don’t despair, this can be removed by the Land Registry, but there is no guarantee, so best give them a call before making an offer.
With the above in mind, you should now be a master at spotting these lesser-known things when buying a property and be well on your way to finding your dream home.