The 10 Best Questions To Ask When Buying A House
Anyone who has looked for a new house or flat will know much time they spend online searching for their dream home.The search functionality on ASPC allows you to narrow down options by price, the number of bedrooms and area, making it easier to find and save favourite properties using our MyASPC account area.While viewing online is a great place to start, there is no substitute for visiting the property, and surrounding neighbourhood.In this blog, we take a look at ten questions to ask when viewing a property for the first time.
1. What’s the area like? Everyone has different needs when it comes to location, but unlike other aspects of the home, the location cannot be changed. It’s important to research the area, looking into the schools, shops, amenities and transport links to ensure it ticks all the boxes.Your solicitor, or the current owners, should be able to provide you with more information about the street and the area.
2. What’s included in the sale?
It’s worth checking exactly what’s included with the property, as certain items like white goods and light fittings are often negotiated.
The land boundary is also something worth checking: do you own the garden? Where does the property end? Would you be responsible for any upkeep for, say, the road in a cul-de-sac?
3. Why is the owner moving? It could be the case that the current owners are looking to move somewhere bigger, or a job requires relocation to a different region.If it’s the latter, the owner may be looking for a quick sale and could be more likely to accept a slightly lower offer.
4. How long has the property been on the market?
The amount of interest in a home can be judged by the length of time it has been on the market.
If the property has been on for some time, there may be room for negotiation when it comes to price. This is where a solicitor will prove particularly helpful, so it can be useful to discuss this with them first.
5. How long have the owners lived there?
If a home has been put on the market within a relatively short time after purchase, it could indicate there are issues with the property or area.Points that could be a red flag are noisy neighbours, or poor local facilities. A high turnover of occupants could be seen as a warning sign.
6. When do the sellers have to move out?It may be the case that the current owners need to stay in the property until the home they have purchased is available to move into. A long waiting time might not be an option for those needing to move in quickly.
7. Have any major works been conducted?Whether it’s the addition of a bedroom or a newly fitted kitchen, it’s good to know what work has been done and when it was carried out.If there are improvements, make sure to ask for any warranties, and check for planning permission in the case of additional bedrooms or extensions.
8. What are the neighbours like?Neighbours can have a major impact on the happiness of a home, so increasing the chance of getting along with them is quite important. It’s worth asking the homeowner what the neighbours are like, to reduce the risk of any future disputes.
9. What's the mobile phone coverage like? Some areas are particularly poor for mobile phone and general broadband coverage. If this is a significant factor for you, then make sure to check what it’s like.Most mobile phone companies offer a network coverage checker online, which can be tested by entering the postcode of the property.
10. How old is the boiler and what's its service history?A boiler is particularly expensive to repair or replace so finding out about the age, condition, and quality of the boiler is an important question to consider. It’s also a good idea to ask about the boiler’s service history and warranty, to plan for any future costs.
Got another question you would ask the homeowner? Let us know on the comments below.