We’ve often used this blog to discuss things you should consider when selling your home, but buying a house can be one of the most important decisions you ever make. In this blog, we list the 5 things that can help to make your decision much easier.

Buying a home is perhaps the biggest purchase you’ll make in your lifetime, and for many people the home they buy is the one they’ll spend the rest of their lives in. Nevertheless, choosing that home can be a difficult business, especially when you are trying to keep to a strict budget. Very often we can be taken in by how a home looks. If it’s our dream home, we’re happy to overlook all the little issues with the property in a bid to secure it. Then comes the realisation that you’ve bought a house with more problems then you originally bargained for.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t have the house you want. All it means is that you need to think carefully about what you’re letting yourself in for. After all, if this is the home you’re going to stay in then it has to be perfect, right?

Here are the 5 questions you should be asking, whenever you’re looking around prospective homes.

Question 1 – Is the property structurally sound?

This is an important question, because a negative answer could end up costing you a fortune. Don’t be afraid to get an in-depth look at the property. Check the walls, roof and electrics, amongst other things. If the house needs money spending on it to make it habitable, then is it really worth it? Always remember that a building survey from a qualified chartered surveyor can help to ensure you don’t end up throwing money away on a building that you should have avoided in the first place.

Question 2 – Is the building safe?

This follows on from the last question. Are there any risks with buying the house? For example, has lead piping or asbestos been used in the construction? Do the windows need safety glass? Are the doors secure? If you’re buying a family home or a commercial property, then you want to put the safety of your family, staff or customers first.

Question 3 –Is the property right for you?

If this is to be the home or property you’re going to be living or working in, then you want it to be as close to perfect as possible. Do you like a lot of outdoor space? If so, then you need a property with a garden. Do you have a lot of stuff? Yes – then you need a garage or some extra storage facilities. Also, it’s great to live near a road or railway when you need to get to work, but does that mean it’s going to be noisy at rush hour? And, you might like the idea of having a pub next door – but what’s that going to be like at closing time?

Question 4 – What Does The Future Hold?

Property is one of the soundest investments you can make, but it can also be one that goes wrong really quickly. Ask yourself if the property you’re buying is going to be worth something if you do decide to sell up. New properties sell at a premium, but keep an eye on the local property market to see if your house is keeping in line. Lots of things can affect the value of a property, such as it’s location, the condition it’s in and also the tenure that you have on the building. It might be that you need to extend your lease on the property, in order to attract potential buyers.

Question 5 – Can You Afford It?

Finally, this is the most important question. It’s not just whether you can afford the property itself, but whether you can afford the upkeep on the place over the years. Are you going to have to do any extra work to the building, which could end up costing thousands? Are the bills going to be through the roof, because the property is quite big and needs a lot of heating? Are you going to have to get extra insurance because your house has a tendency to flood?

The best way to answer all these questions is to speak to a Chartered Surveyor, who can help you with the answers to all of them. Instructing a survey at the pre-acquisition stage will ensure that the dream home you want is not going to turn into a nightmare.

For more information and help with your property issues, give JDB a call today on 0151 486 3437.