7 vital things you need to know before buying a house

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Do you think you are ready to be a homeowner? Buying a house in the 21st century can be a mind-boggling experience, which requires scrutiny, deliberation and decisiveness. Diverse factors must balanced, while estate agents, mortgage lenders and energy suppliers take a piece of the pie.

The escalating costs on estates of a wounded economy must be evaluated. Its structural capabilities, energy efficiency and recurrent expenses must be taken into consideration. Do you feel overwhelmed? Well, don't be. The hunt for a home in the concrete jungles just needs serious homework! You will need to devote time to research, organisation and planning. Hence, we decided to help by compiling a list of 7 vital things you need to know before buying a home.

Let the hunt begin!

1. First impressions count

The Sea House, Porth, Cornwall:  Villas by The Bazeley Partnership
The Bazeley Partnership

The Sea House, Porth, Cornwall

The Bazeley Partnership

The first impression of the prospective house is crucial. While in humans we prefer to say appearances don't matter, it’s a different story with houses. When your eyes fall upon a house, you will know in the first seconds if you will grow to love it. It’s your instincts that take charge in that moment, telling you instantaneously what you will probably discover over the passage of time.

Thus, pay attention to your instincts! Perhaps, coming across the modern angles of the house depicted on the image above will tinder a flame in your eyes. For others though, it will leave a bitter taste on their tongues. You need to be sure that you will grow to adore the investment in your home and the first impression always counts.

2. Reason for sale

modern Houses by Casas Cube
Casas Cube

Casa prefabricada Cube 75 m2—Porche

Casas Cube

When the first impression has been positive, you will be reasonably full of questions. What should you ask first? The reasons behind its sale, of course. There are common reasons for a house to be on the market. A small house may no longer be big enough for a growing family.

The fast pace of working life might require the previous occupants to relocate. The neighbourhood has changed drastically in the past years, whether psychically, socially or financially. A relationship has fallen and the house is too big for a person to handle. Or the house might be haunted. You wouldn't want to live in a haunted house, would you? 

It is important to understand the choice behind selling the house because you might associate with it and if you do, buying the house might turn out to be a very expensive regret!

3. State of construction

Your second question should inquire about the house's state of construction. If you are buying a newly constructed home, it might be a good idea to get assistance from an estate agent. They are quite savvy in the housing market. Furthermore, new homes, unlike their original models, might not include all the extras and add-ons. Hence, it is imperative to inquire what will be actually included in the new construction. 

If the prospective house has been remodelled, as the cottage in the picture above, get a home inspector to evaluate it. They will help you avoid unfortunate mistakes in plumbing, electrical outlets in wrong positions and uneven walls. You wouldn't want your new home tilting on one side, would you? Whether the house is brand new or has some miles on it, having an evaluation of its constructional capabilities and issues will be highly beneficial. 

4. Size and rooms

Lucky 4 Ranch: rustic Living room by Uptic Studios
Uptic Studios

Lucky 4 Ranch

Uptic Studios

A potential home must match with your current and future needs. In the image above, we observe an open-plan space that includes the living room, kitchen and dining room, with stairs leading up to a second floor. A spacious interior of rustic design, with rooms to satisfy family and guests. 

On one hand, if you have a big family and your needs coincide with large spaces, then a house such as this would be a perfect match. On the other hand, if you are a small family, or even a starting couple, a more concentrated size will better meet you needs. 

The size and number of rooms of the prospective house will also be affected by your budget. As investment advice goes, it is better to spend less than you can afford. 

5. Energy efficiency and usage

Another thing to consider before buying a house is its energy efficiency and usage. You will definitely appreciate the money saving abilities of a house that limits its energy consumption. 

In searching for energy efficiency take into account the availability of windows in the house and their condition. They can be a source of light and heat insulation, bringing down electricity and heating bills. The open-plan kitchen in the picture illustrates how energy efficiency is being utilised by four wall-size windows and a skylight. You will also benefit from investigating the energy usage of the house appliances and possible installations of renewable technology. 

6. Cost

Completed Exterior: modern Houses by Facit Homes
Facit Homes

Completed Exterior

Facit Homes

When buying a home there are up-front costs beyond the usual mortgage fees. You will need to take into consideration the deposit, government tax paid on homes, legal fees for the transactions, the valuation and surveyor charges and estate agents fees. 

Next to upfront costs are mortgage fees. They will usually include a booking fee, arrangement fee and mortgage valuation fee. Calculating the overall cost of your home might seem as an extensive exercise but fortunatltely there are online guides that can help you make the necessary estimations. 

7. Additional expenses

Finally, a homeowner will have a stream of additional and recurrent expenses that should be considered prior to purchase. The most prevalent expenses will be the insurance and council tax. Depending on the price band of your home, the council tax will fluctuate from affordable to excessive. Even mobile homes are liable for council taxes!

Another recurrent theme for a homeowner will be electricity, heating and water bills. Hence, the importance of energy efficiency! And lest we forget, in the digital era, broadband and TV licence will surely be an expense to take into account. 

Perhaps buying a home will be the most expensive purchase of your life and, as such, you will want to avoid any mistakes beforehand.

We sincerely hope this information makes it that little bit easier for you to navigate in the turbulent waters of the housing market!

For more house buying advice, you might like to check out: Finding The Right Home: Your Simple Guide.

What else should a potential homeowner consider before buying a house? Share your thoughts with us!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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