Questions to ask when buying your first home
Buying your first home is a very exciting but often daunting prospect. You don’t want to rush into such a big decision, and you certainly don’t want to realise one month down the line that you made the wrong decision. We have designed a guide to ensure you have all the information available to you, ensuring you can make an informed decision when buying your first house.
Why is the current owner selling?
When you are looking to buy a new home, finding out exactly why the seller wants to move can give you a lot of insight into the property. It is possible they want to upscale or are moving to a different city, however, if you find out they have only been there a few months, and the property has changed hands many times, you might question your decision. If this is the case, you need to find out what the underlying problem is.
It could be that the house needs a lot of work doing. If you are willing to invest time and money into the house then this might not affect your decision, however, the issue could be something that you do not want to face. You don’t want to move in, only to discover the house has noisy, inconsiderate or unreasonable neighbours, a damp problem or worrying cracks.
Is it a listed property?
If you are viewing a listed property, you should be informed, but it is always best to ask, just in case. If the property is listed, “there will be extra control over what changes can be made to a building’s interior and exterior” and “owners will need to apply for Listed Building Consent for most types of work that affect the ‘special architectural or historic interest’ of their home.” This can severely restrict the work you are able to do inside and outside the house. Find out exactly what grade it is, as this can have an impact on the restrictions.
It is also possible the property is in a conservation area, and again, if this is the case, certain restrictions may apply. Always make sure you have full knowledge of the property before making a decision.
What is included in the sale?
When viewing a property, you will be informed if the property will be sold furnished or unfurnished and if the garage is included, for example. However, make sure you understand everything that is included or excluded. For example, you should be aware if the garden shed or greenhouse is included and if you have sole access to the garden. You need to find out the boundaries, and the best way to do so is to ask questions. You need to know exactly what you are signing up for.
Which way does the property face?
This sounds pretty trivial, but it can make a big difference to the sale. If the house has a garden terrace with beautiful views, make sure it is south facing, or your dreams of spending the afternoon soaking up the sun will be short lived. Alternatively, you might prefer to wake up to the sun in the morning. Whatever your preference, make sure you are aware of what you are signing up for.
Is the roof in good condition?
Checking the condition of the roof is vital as because you can’t see it, it can often be neglected and forgotten. You could even consider hiring a roofer to perform a professional inspection. Simply search, ‘roofer Washington’, ‘roofer London’, ‘Roofer Bristol’, or even ‘roofer near me’ to find the best company in your area. Even if you could inspect the roof yourself, signs of damage are not always visible to non-professionals so getting a second opinion is always a good idea.
They could even check your loft insulation, to prevent you being met with surprisingly large bills the first month after you move in. According to the Energy Saving Trust, “a quarter of heat is lost through the roof in an uninsulated home, ” so ensuring the house is properly insulated is essential.
When you are looking to buy your first home, ensuring you have all the information before making your decision is vital. These are some of the most important things you should be asking but this is not an exhaustive list and the questions to ask depend on the property you are viewing.