What To Look Out For When Buying A House

Checking out the local scenery in my new area
(Photo: Authors Own)

Recently my partner and I managed to get on the housing ladder (read about how to buy a house here). One of the main worries when house hunting that everyone will have is finding a house that is right for you in the location that is right for you. Today I write about what we looked for when buying a house:

Location
You may already have an idea on where you want to live. For us, we wanted to move to a quieter area and be closer to my work. Our priorities for location was:

  • In the countryside.
  • Not near a flood plain.
  • No more than half an hour commute from my workplace. 
  • Not near a busy road.
  • Close to a train station with trains that will travel to London.

So what to think about is:

  • Do you want to be in a village or in a town?
  • If you want to live in the countryside you have to think about how close you want your amenities to be.
  • How close you are to public services (particularly important if you need to rely on them.)
  • What type of social environment do you want to be in (i.e if you want to be in a fast paced environment then a sleepy village may not be the best option for you).
  • How close you want to be to your family!
Facilities
Obviously a town is going to have everything you want. For us, we wanted to have a doctors surgery and supermarket close by, but happy to travel a bit further to do some serious shopping. We both drive so bus services were not as important to us.

What you need to think about facility wise?
Proximity to medical services eg, doctors, dentists and hospitals, supermarkets and shops.

The Area
My partner and I did a lot of research into the area, as our home is a home that we want to stay in long term.  We looked at the specifics such as flooding, schools and nature. When we visited the house, we drove around the surrounding area at day and night for a better idea of area it is.

The House Itself
We were a little greedy and wanted quite a big house. An en- suite wasn’t as important to us but a large kitchen was. What you need to look out for:

  • Do your neighbours windows look into your windows?
  • If the property is near the main road or trains (Don’t laugh I used to hear the train rumbling past my old flat window!)
  • If you want a garden, is it big enough or the right type (e.g I did not want a terrace garden).
  • Is your house big enough? 
  • Is the kitchen big enough? My old place had a tiny kitchen and we hated it.
  • Does it have a garage or a driveway? Do you have to share the driveway?
  • How much land do you own?
  • What boundaries are yours to maintain?
  • Are the windows and the frames in good condition? Also are the windows single glazed, mind if they are as it can be very cold in the winter time.
  • Is there any mould? Be weary of fresh coats of paint that could cover mould up. 
In my experience house buying is always a risk and there never is the ‘perfect’ house. The majority of the time you have to sacrifice something. However, if you do your research properly it certainly reduces the risk of getting it wrong.  

* Disclaimer: this is my views only. Seek professional advice.

  

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