Here’s what to spend time on
- Find out what you can genuinely afford by getting independent financial advice. It’s easy to get carried away and spend over your budget.
- Establish the type, age, size, style and location of the property you want. If it doesn't fit your criteria, don't waste time on it.
- Visit the property, street and neighbourhood more than once before committing yourself, preferably at different times of the day and week. Is the attractive local park actually a war zone at night?
- When viewing the property, look beyond the surface. Don’t be afraid to look inside cupboards. Using the Home Report as a tool, make a list of questions and ask, ask, ask!
- Ask the sellers questions about the neighbours and the neighbourhood.
- Investigate all the costs involved in your purchase including any needed or proposed repairs, upgrades, alterations and extensions. Don't forget the additional costs, i.e. architects, engineers and local authority consents.
- Do dummy school and commuter runs in rush hour. Is it as easy as it appeared during the Sunday open viewing?
- You should ask the local authority whether there have been any complaints which might affect the property you are interested in.
- You can also make enquiries with the local authority to see how many properties nearby have an HMO (house in multiple occupation) licence.
Those few extra hours of research now can save you years of regret!
Here’s what to spend money on
- Good professional advice - whether it be surveyors, independent financial advisors, solicitors or architects. Although their fees may appear expensive, good advice can save you a lot of money in the long term.
- Additional surveys, reports and quotations - don't guess your way here. Get clear information about the costs of repairs, upgrades, alterations and extensions. It’s better to spend a nominal amount before you are committed than to discover, for example, that you cannot afford the roof repairs.
- Rental accommodation - if you can't find the right property today, don't rush in. Be prepared to rent for a short period.
Money spent investigating a problematic property that you don't end up buying is actually an investment.
These are just some of the areas to research when considering a property move. At Morton Fraser, we want your move to be a happy experience. If you are buying or selling a property and need advice or assistance, please contact our Property team.