The 9 Most Important Questions to Ask Before Buying a House

9 Key Questions to Ask When Buying a House

Buying a house in the UK is a big financial decision, so it is crucial to find out as much as you can about the property before buying it. Imagine you had your budget figured out, took bridging finance in London and were all set to complete your new home purchase, but suddenly you get to know the house is not worth its price or it is not in accordance with building regulations. You can easily find yourself in chaos if you don’t inquire about the property before buying.

If you haven’t bought a home before, you may not know where to start when it comes to finding out everything about the property. But, when you know what questions to ask can help you gather key information about the property, which will help you in making an informed purchase decision.

There is a whole host of questions that you must ask the seller or the real estate agent before buying the property.

#1 Why is the owner selling the property?

One of the first questions to ask the seller and the real estate agent is why the owner is selling the property. Finding out why the property is being sold will give you a good idea of how quickly the seller wants to sell the property. Whether the seller is desperate to sell because of work reasons or just wants to test the water by putting the property for sale. Getting a hint on the seller’s intention will help you negotiate the asking price. So, make sure this question is on top of your list when you are looking at a property to buy.

#2 How long has the property been for sale on the market?

This is another important question to ask. If the property has been on the market for a long time, especially more than 3 months, it is essential to know why it is not selling. Are there any problems with the property that others have found out and you haven’t? Or, is the property overpriced? If you are sceptical about the property’s condition, you can have a professional survey of the property that will help you uncover potential issues. Whatever the issue, if the property has been on the market for a long time, you are in a good position to negotiate the price.

#3 How old is the property?

Finding out how old the property is will give you clues on how the property has been built and whether to proceed with the purchase or not. If the house is recently built, it may be in the optimum condition and require little or no repair work. But, if the property is quite old, there may be potential structural issues that may not be visible at first glance. You might have to take a bridging loan in order to cover the additional cost of the renovation work. In those circumstances, you can ask the seller to reduce the asking price to compensate for the renovation expenses.

#4 How many times has the property been sold?

Another important question to ask the real estate agent is how long the current homeowner has stayed in the house. A property with several different owners in a short period could be a red flag. If the property has frequently changed owners, there could be a problem with the property, neighbours or the area. Try to speak with previous owners and find out why they moved out.

#5 Has the owner had any renovation work done in the house?

The owner may wish to extend their home either by adding a room or by raising a floor. In some cases, listing descriptions and property records don’t always match up. For instance, the property may be advertised with three rooms, but one of the rooms may be a non-conforming extension that doesn’t follow the local construction regulations. Hence, ask about what major renovation work has been carried out, and whether the planning permission was obtained by the owner. Knowing a home’s renovation history can help you estimate its condition and understand the sale price.

#6 What is included in the sale?

On your very first visit, do ask the owner about what will be included with the sale of the property. You don’t want to move into a new house only to realise that the sofa is not yours. Usually, anything that is considered a fixture, such as cabinets, window treatments and the chandelier is included with the property. While many owners leave furniture behind, some don’t. Hence, it is essential to inquire what the owner will be taking along with them and what will be left behind.

#7 What are the monthly maintenance and other utility costs?

The ongoing cost of living in your home is just as vital as your bridging finance quote repayments. Finding out utility costs, maintenance costs and general day-to-day running costs of the home will help you decide whether or not the home is financially viable for you. Furthermore, things like council tax can take a chunk away from your monthly salary, so it is crucial to know what fixed monthly cost you will be paying before you set your eyes on the property.

#8 How much do other homes in the neighbourhood sell for?

If you are finding a home through a real estate agent, do ask him how much other homes in the neighbourhood have sold for. You can request information about homes that are currently on the market and the ones that have been sold in the last few months, as a basis for comparison. This will help you understand whether the house you are looking at is priced appropriately, or it is way too high. If the asking price seems to be higher than other homes in the market, you have a lot more room for negotiation.

#9 How is the surrounding area like?

This is an essential question to ask, especially if you are new to the area. Ask the real estate agent what the surrounding area is like. Is it noisy or quiet? Are there any public transport facilities available? Are there any schools, gardens and hospitals nearby? Do people feel safe here? And what other amenities are available? The answers to these questions can have a great impact on the quality of life. Also, you can visit the property development finance in London City at different times of the day to get a wider perspective of the area.

Asking Always Helps

If you are making an investment as big as purchasing a house, it is worth asking as many questions as you can. Create a list of these questions and carry it along whenever you go for the property viewing. Getting answers to these questions will put your mind at ease before you make the big move.