6 tips when buying a house

Honor Kennedy Honor Kennedy
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Buying a new home can be an extremely challenging, demanding and daunting task—without proper planning and organisation, and with so many different things to consider, you can very easily feel overwhelmed and overcome. Let’s face it, buying a house is most likely going to be the biggest purchase of your life. Structural integrity of the property, resale value, location, and neighbours are just a handful of particulars you have to scrutinize when purchasing a new residence. With so much to think about, it pays to invest your time in the appropriate groundwork and efficient preparation. 

Luckily homify is here to help—take a look at the following handy hints below, and ensure you invest your time in clever preparation, thorough research, and guarantee your home purchase is smooth and trouble-free.

Choose your neighbours carefully

Wilton Terrace: classic Houses by Flower Michelin
Flower Michelin

Wilton Terrace

Flower Michelin

You can’t choose your family but you can choose your neighbours—one of the most important mantras when buying a home is location, location, location. This is most certainly a truism, not just for the neighbourhood you are buying into, but also the neighbours you will be living next to. When buying a home, on average you will probably be living there for at least next decade, so it makes sense to find out who you will be in close proximity to. If you purchase a free-standing house, you will have a certain barrier between the two homes, but many duplexes and apartments rely heavily on neighbourly cooperation. When looking at a property, visit the neighbours to get advice on the location, you will probably gain some local insight into the area, whilst also vetting your potential community. Choose your home and neighbours properly and not only will you build a great community spirit, but you could gain an effortless friendship.

Consider resale

Although we tend to buy homes and plan to live in them for a long time, it is important to consider resale value. If you have to sell the house one day, you want to make sure the building is structurally sound, attractive, and with the potential to mature in price. If in doubt, consult a property professional who will be able to guide you through the advantages and disadvantages of the dwelling you have chosen.

Spot nuisances and deal-breakers

Master Bedroom Ensuite: classic Bathroom by Laura Sole Interiors
Laura Sole Interiors

Master Bedroom Ensuite

Laura Sole Interiors

When walking through a property, learn to look for little nuisances and issues that might otherwise be overlooked. Don’t be afraid to turn on the taps and inspect water pressure and heating. Plumbing can be a huge inconvenience if it needs replacing, or if the hot water system is not up to standard. Check for cracks in walls, and the smell of damp or musty masonry. Rising damp can be a major problem if it has to be treated at a later date.

Size matters: choosing the right proportions

North London House Extension: modern Living room by Caseyfierro Architects
Caseyfierro Architects

North London House Extension

Caseyfierro Architects

Space is critical when looking for a new home, if you are moving out of a smaller property you will want to ensure you have enough space in your new dwelling for your family to grow, and have their own room. Look at the floorplan and see if it is considerably better and bigger than what you have. Plan what each room could be, and make sure you have a list of all your essential needs. If you are looking to add on, make sure you check the council restrictions and panning approval necessary for a development. Moreover if you are downsizing, make sure you buy a property that can accommodate your family, but has considerably less square feet, and thus less housework.

Check it out at different times of the day

Coach House:   by Coupdeville
Coupdeville

Coach House

Coupdeville

We are all used to seeing a new home as it is presented by the estate agent—often it is clean, uncluttered, and at its best, but it is also important to see this home when it isn’t pristine and open for inspection. Drive past the property at different times of the day and inspect it at night to see if it still has its pizzazz and attractiveness.  Agents work on displaying their property at the ideal time of day, so that it looks perfect. Try organising an inspection during busy school leaving hours, peak hour traffic, or when the area is at its busiest, you will get a better idea of the home, and whether it is what you are after.

Get a conveyancer, and a survey

Burghley Avenue:   by Coupdeville
Coupdeville

Burghley Avenue

Coupdeville

Bring in the professionals—it is important to make sure you don’t rush into a purchase, and instead a conveyancer can help with the details, as well as a survey of the property so you know what you are buying. A building inspection will point out any massive issues with the structural integrity of the home, and save you money in the long run.

If you would like some extra tips and tricks, check out our other ideabook: Tips for buying an older home

Do you have any other helpful hints for prospective buyers? Contribute your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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