So, you’ve been property hunting and narrowed down your shortlist of properties to just 1… but how do you know if it’s truly your Dream Home? Follow these 5 tips to test your property and find out if it really could be your Dream Home.
1. This might sound a bit odd, but it’s often a good idea to drive around the property and neighbourhood at different times of day, or year (if you’ve got ages to decide). Discovering that the pub a few doors down has loud live music into the night could be a deal breaker. This is why it’s important to get a feel of the neighbourhood before you move there permanently.
2. Do some research. There are plenty of places online that will give you a run down of important local statistics such as crime, average age brackets and even political preference. It’s a good idea to do some research offline too. Chat with the neighbours BEFORE you move in. The neighbours will know better than anyone the benefits and draw-backs of living on that street. Ask about the local council, bin collections, who makes the most noise in the morning and who’s dog barks all night. Spend time finding out about your would-be neighbours, after all they’re the ones who you’ll be living close to for years and it’s important for everyone to live in peace. Furthermore, if your neighbours are living in a very similar property to you, structurally, they might be able to give you some insight into the history of your Dream Home and any common problems.
3. If you can, find out why the property is up for sale. It might be something as innocent as the family outgrowing the home or it could be a serious problem with the layout of the home that won’t be obvious until you move in. A mortgage is a huge commitment, make sure the property is easy to love.
4. Getting a basic mortgage survey doesn’t come until later in the mortgage process, however a Homebuyer report can be conducted by any RICS or SAVA-qualified Chartered Surveyor. These will highlight major structural defects against a ranking system as part of your due diligence once you have found your potential next home and before you’ve even started the mortgage process. Look out for damp in the property, any cracks (not hairline ones), and other obvious defects – try and find out how serious they are. You’ll also want to find out how much storage space there is for all your belongings, as well as how old the roof is and other parts of the house that might need a lot of work in the years to come. Take plumbing and drainage for example, it might be working fine now, but if it’s already a decade old when you’re buying the property, it might not be long until you need to fork out enough to redo the plumbing completely.
5. There are a few other things that you’ll definitely want to know about before you move in. Depending on the location, you might discover that the village is full of holiday lets, so will be empty most of the year, completely removing any sense of community in the area. If you’re a “constantly connected” family, it could be worthwhile asking the sellers how strong the WiFi is at the property. Other things to be aware of include; is the area prone to power cuts, or in a flood risk area, or is the affected by tidal conditions and exposed to the elements? How much are your water rates, council tax and other monthly running costs?
With so much emphasis on house-building and heavy government support for builders, you might also want to look out for any major developments that could be crowding the horizon and affecting your house price in the near future. Your local planning portal (online) will give you all the information you require regarding proposed developments in your area.
Once you’ve found your perfect property, and checked the area and have looked thoroughly for any potential problems, you can start the process of arranging your mortgage. Applying for a mortgage can be tricky and confusing without the right support. For helpful advice to give you the best chance of securing your perfect property, visit the Active Brokers YouTube Channel.Go to our YouTube Channel