Where do you start when looking to buy a house? This can be an especially daunting time for the first time buyer. However there are a few simple rules that you can follow, they will make the whole process of buying a house that much more bearable.
Firstly you should never buy an ‘unseen’ property
You must always go and visit a property several times so that you can clearly see any potential problems. Ideally this should be three or four times and at different times of the day. This will give you an idea about neighbours, traffic noise and density. It is also a good idea to walk around the surrounding area so as to give you an idea of what shops and other amenities are available in the local community. It will also give you an indication about the surrounding neighbourhood and the type of people who live there.
The building itself should be closely inspected for damp or any hairline cracks which will need further investigation. If any faults are detected then obviously this will need to be checked by a professional before negotiating on the price of the property.
It is also well know that many sellers will try and ‘hide’ any faults with the property such as covering damp walls with furniture or using rugs to cover cracked tiles. So always be vigilant when looking at a property and ask questions. It is always best though if you are interested in buying a house to have a full survey carried out as this will highlight any problems with the property.
However difficulties may arise in actually finding available properties in the first place. One obvious place to look is in the estate agents window but the other way is by using the internet and this way you can keep up to date with all the latest properties that are on offer. What is most important is that you view a property as soon as it becomes available as there will no doubt be many potential buyers.
Once the properly has been found you then have the next step of putting in an offer. If you are happy with the properly and agree with the asking price then it is best to offer the full asking price. This way you will be taken more seriously and have more chance of being offered the property.
Gazumping, which is people outbidding you at the last minute, is sadly a reality for many house buyers. Under the Estate Agency Act, estate agents are obliged to pass on all offers they receive and there is very little you can do if you are gazumped.
It is also worth noting that the whole process of buying a house could take 12 weeks up to the completion date so it is a timely business. Looking for a house is often an enjoyable experience and there are many properties out there. Just remember to be vigilant when viewing a properly, keep an open mind, set your budget and ask questions.