Is it affordable?
Whilst it might seem obvious, your home must be affordable. We understand the property market can be full of temptation, homes that fall just outside of your budget that appear to offer the world. Lusting after homes that are not affordable can be a dangerous path, you’ll either be left financially strung-out, or unsatisfied in an affordable home that will never quite compare to the dream house.
We advise beginning your property search at the lower end of your budget and gradually working your way up.
Remember, buying a house doesn’t just require a deposit and monthly mortgage repayments. There are additional costs, often overlooked by buyers when calculating affordability, these include stamp duty, legal fees and removal costs. It is important you consider and calculate all costs when evaluating a property’s affordability.
Don’t ignore the outside
When viewing a property, the outside of the structure often receives only a fleeting glance, leaving the bulk of the inspection for the interior.
This is a big mistake. The outside of the property can often supply clues as to any costly challenges you might encounter further down the line.
Pay attention to the roof, is it new or old? Are there any tiles missing? Does it have a chimney? Chimneys that lain dormant for years with no maintenance can often serve as a gateway to pesky leaks.
Inspecting a property for damp is something you’ve likely already been advised on. A common and expensive nuisance, damp should be avoided when possible.
When looking for damp you should be wary of ceilings, floorboards, skirting boards and external walls, these areas are prone to damp.
Word to the wise, don’t just rely on your eyes when looking out for damp, newly repainted walls could be hiding something that your nose might pick up on.
When inspecting a property keep your eyes peeled for any ‘tell-tale’ cracks. Large cracks in walls or ceilings can signal trouble, especially when found at extension joins, external walls, and bay windows, these areas are under strain and are prone to move away from the property.
Take note of these issues, enquire about them with both the homeowner and estate agent. If you decide you’d like to make an offer, ask your surveyor to investigate them further.
Check the EPC
An EPC will give a good indication as to how well insulated a property is. A well-insulated home can not only lead to improved comfort, but also reduced energy bills – which is crucial in an economy where energy costs are consistently rising.
One glaringly obvious indication as to how well insulated a property is would be whether or not the windows are double glazed, we recommend examining the property windows during your viewing.
Is it north or south facing?
Should you be lucky enough to view the property during the summer it will likely be quite easy to identify whether the house is north or south facing.
However, if your viewing takes place during the dull, dim winter then don’t be afraid to use your smartphone compass. The sun rises in the west and sets in the east, this means that south-westerly, west and south facing rear gardens are more favourable.
South facing homes tend to attract more sunlight than north facing homes. This is worth bearing in mind when evaluating homes with skylights or patio doors, whilst they can make a room feel dramatically lighter and spacious, they can also attract an increasing amount of heat, that might become unbearable.
Are the electrics intact?
We understand that when inspecting a property’s electrics, you’re unlikely to know what you’re looking for. Unless you’re a qualified electrician that is, in which case skip this section.
For those of us without any electrical knowledge, gaining an understanding of the property’s electrical wiring can be as simple as examining the power points and fuse boxes. Outdated wiring can be quite costly to maintain or replace, take note of the fuse box condition, does it seem outdated to you?
This also provides ample opportunity to familiarise yourself with the number of power points the property has to offer, in our increasingly gadget-drive world this can be a big selling point.
Location, location, location
A Mr Homes top tip is to not only view the home, view the area. If the area is new to you then take a walk around, are there local shops? Schools? Pubs and restaurants?
What are the amenities you couldn’t live without? Walking to a local shop for a loaf of bread, maybe it’s nearby schools for your growing family. You’ll want to make sure the location of your home is convenient to your lifestyle.
Making an offer
Following your viewing you might decide the property is perfect, you’ve conducted each check as listed in this article and are happy with results, you’re now looking to make an offer.
The best way to secure your property is to work closely with your estate agent, listen to their advice, remember they’ve done this before. You’re on the same team here, agents only get paid when sales complete so work with them, they’ve got your best interests at heart.
One strategy Mr Homes use to secure a property is offering to pay a non-refundable deposit, if you’re serious about buying a property this will demonstrate how committed you are to a purchase.
Optimistic buyers might consider going under offer for a property, we advise against this approach, making a low offer could result in the vendor becoming offended. Our mantra is; only make low offers if you’re comfortable losing the property.
Book your viewing
If you’re house hunting across Cardiff and surrounding areas book your viewing with Mr Homes today. Our team of expert estate agents can point out any property ‘points of interest,’ that the untrained eye might otherwise miss.
We’re committed to providing more than just a viewing, our team provide you with valuable insight and information, including neighbourhood market statistics.
Currently we are experiencing high demand for properties listed under £250k from first time buyers and investors alike. Low interest rates and the removal of property sale tax make these houses very attractive as an investment. If these properties are of interest to yourself, rest assured, Mr Homes have a host of affordable properties to offer.