Mistakes to Avoid when Buying a Property
Feature by Maria Stokes
The search for your next property should be exciting, however, it can be easy to become disheartened when that perfect property just doesn’t seem to be available. To make things a little easier, we’ve compiled the top ten mistakes to avoid when buying your next home.
1 Only search properties within your specified budget – do not waste time getting excited over dreamy properties that are way too expensive for you to purchase. Not only will you cloud your judgement over the properties you can afford, but you may miss out on a fantastic property because you spent too long daydreaming!
2 Don’t forget the hidden costs – when you start the house search, remember it’s not just the price of the property to consider, there’s also stamp duty, estate agent fees, solicitor fees and mortgage application costs. Try to research/estimate all fees early on, so you can determine what you can afford when it comes to searching for the perfect property.
3 Know when to move quickly on an offer – local market conditions can make a difference how quickly properties are snapped up. If you really want that property, don’t ignore the importance of market conditions on property prices, if there is no other interest you can take your time more so.
4 Keep your search area limited – home hunters searching a wide geographical area can confuse matters as certain postcodes will offer perhaps three bedrooms instead of four at around the same price, so it may become difficult to compare attractive properties easily. Start off looking within your first-choice area, if nothing excites you, then expand the search by a one to three-mile radius.
5 Don’t be a post code snob – obviously there will always be areas which are well-known to be avoided, but before ruling out the less affluent post codes, get to know the area. Visit during the daytime, drive through by night, have a drink or meal at the local pub, work out how long it takes to get to the nearest supermarket and train station. These can all be deciding factors when buying the right property.
6 Don’t limit yourself to searching only the biggest property portals – Rightmove, Zoopla and On The Market are all fantastic sites to start your property search. However, check out some of the local estate agent’s sites who boast a good reputation. With Arden you can register for instant property alerts and we feature properties hours faster than they appear on the bigger sites.
7 How many bedrooms do you really require – not always, but often those searching for their next home require more bedrooms than they may actually need. Of course, it’s great to have a spare bedroom for guests, or to use for storage space or as a study, but a lot of properties can offer surprisingly flexible accommodation, with perhaps a ground floor study or play room which could accommodate a sofa bed for guests. Also look out for good-sized boarded lofts and garages, as these can offer great storage solutions if you don’t get that extra bedroom.
8 Don’t use the agent’s photos as an excuse to dismiss a property – although they will ultimately form your first opinion of the property, they may not be the best representation of the house. Photos can often make rooms look smaller and/or darker than they really are. If the house has all you require on paper and it’s just the photos turning you off, book a viewing regardless, as nothing beats a visit to the property.
9 Don’t assume a property that’s been on the market a while has fundamental problems – some properties can take a while to sell, there is no rhyme or reason to it, so don’t automatically assume the house has major flaws or is situated in a bad location. If it looks attractive to you and ticks the boxes which are important to you, view it! You may just bag yourself a bargain if the owner is open to offers after little interest.
10 Remember no house will tick all the boxes – even if you were looking at properties for a million pounds, there will always be things that are not to your taste or that you want to change. Part of the fun when buying a property are the dreams that come with making it your own. Just because it’s not perfect now, doesn’t mean it can’t be with some imagination and perseverance!
If you’re thinking of selling your property, an experienced valuation manager would be happy to come out and meet you, explain how we do things differently at Arden Estates and provide a free valuation of your property. We offer assistance and advice on all aspects of selling your property, as well as helping you find your next dream home, simply contact your nearest Arden Estates office.