Your House Hunting Checklist
House hunting, when it’s time to leave the old nest and move up in the world. While you might be excited to start fresh in a new place, at the same time looking for a new home can be a seriously stressful experience. However, to avoid any major stress melt-downs we’ve compiled a checklist of points for everyone who’s looking to buy a new home.
- Create a Budget – Finances dictate all in the housing market so keep on top of yours and avoid spending more than you can afford. Take into account all the hidden costs like mortgage arrangement fees, valuation fees, legal fees, stamp duty, removal costs and house repairs costs. These things are just as important as the actual house itself, so be sure to put sufficient funds to the side to cover all and any outcomes. Ensure you get the mortgage best suited for you and your lifestyle and cover all the essential costs first before you start planning the colour of you new room or loft conversion.
- Check, check and check again – If you have seen a property once and fallen in love with it, try to view it again at different times of the day, in the daylight it is much easier to see if anything needs fixing or a new coat of paint and in the evening you check if the neighbours get too rowdy when they’re home from work or if there are any street lights shining right into your future bedroom. Also use this time in the new property to check for damp, inspect fittings and fixtures, look at electrical circuits, plumbing and heating and check to see if it is possible to do a loft conversion or room alterations if so desired.
- It’s all about location – Whether you’re moving to a new area for work, schools or for friends and family, it’s important to scope out the neighbourhood before moving in. Make sure its suitable for your needs and that you feel safe and secure there. If you’re unfamiliar with an area, going into the local police station is a good place to start. Start by asking them the general area they get called to most often, if any officers live nearby or if crime is higher in any particular places. Perhaps stay in a B&B overnight and absorb the atmosphere of the area or even just walk around and have a quick chat with your possible future neighbours. See if they’re noisy, whether they enjoy the area and even if the keep their garden tidy.
- Always ask questions – Don’t be afraid or shy about asking your real estate agents questions about properties you’re viewing! Write down anything you want to find out more about, so you remember once you’re viewing the house and keep note of any future enquiries that you may want to make. Bring a friend who has a good knowledge of property and house ownership with you to viewings, they will probably ask questions and check the things that never even crossed your mind.
Photo: Michael Covel