Buying a home is without doubt one of the largest investments most people will make in their lives, yet research suggests the average amount of time spent viewing a new house is just thirty three minutes!
This article encourages you to take a little more time to look into certain aspects prior to purchasing a home. Interestingly, if you were to be looking to buy property abroad, for instance via a hdb resale portal then you would probably take much more time to view the property and understand the nature of all aspects before making such a flippant decision, yet there’s something disarming about the familiarity of where we are from that makes us enter into long-term and life affecting decisions without all that much consideration.
Whilst there are the obvious checks to make such as blocked drains, blocked gutters, and damp issues within the property this article looks more to the less tangible; in respect of the lifestyle aspects affecting your decision. In that vein, here are five tips to help you consider whether this is truly the the property for you.
- LIFE ESSENTIALS
You will want to consider aspects such as whether your phone has full signal. Now, this might seem of small significance in comparison to structural surveys, but if your house doesn’t have mobile signal this is out of your control, unlike most other property issues.
When you consider our reliance on mobile devices today you’ll want to make sure you have adequate reception so that you can make and receive calls in your home, without having to drive down the road, or stand on top of a remote hill. In a similar vein, you’ll want to check the speed of the internet available in the house.
- SOCIAL ASPECTS
Home is much more than the bricks and mortar, it’s the feeling associated with a property and this feeling is often facilitated by activities such as hosting garden parties, cuddling up in front of a roaring fire on a cold winter’s night, or waking up to a shower in an uplifting bathroom.
You might want to consider whether the garden is suitable for social activities such as hosting outdoor parties and having friends over, or sunbathing in the privacy of your own space – or is the garden overlooked and unsightly?
- THE VIEW
A beautiful view has incentivised many new property owners, but the most important thing to check on this front is whether that view will be the view you have in the long term. The last thing you want is to buy a beautiful rural property with views over miles and miles of unspoilt countryside to find a housing estate being built a few years down the road.
You therefore want to be looking out for strange structures on the horizon or signs of construction within the area. You can also check with your local planning department as to whether it’s possible to build on the land that’s at risk of spoiling your view, and if there have been any planning applications made.
- THE NOISE
Is the property quiet and peaceful or can you hear the neighbours arguing through the walls? Are there children crying as you try to relax in the back garden, or dogs barking throughout the night, or day – if you work from home? Is there a busy road nearby that will keep you awake at night or perhaps a cockerel that’ll start squawking at the crack of dawn each morning. The point is you really want to assess whether the home fits into your lifestyle and will allow for a nice peaceful home life.
- STAY NEARBY
It’s therefore a great idea to spend a night or two at a nearby hotel or in an AirBnB so that you can get a proper feel for the area; check out the local gym, takeaway restaurant and schools. Go to the local pub and see what the vibe is like in terms of how friendly and welcoming people appear.
Also, by staying overnight this gives you a chance to experience the property when it’s dark, as most viewings will take place during daylight hours. A street, and even a house itself, can feel very different after dark – so stay nearby and check out whether the area makes you feel safe and at peace or puts you on edge.
Now that we’ve covered some of the less obvious things to consider when doing the property inspection, let’s finish off by looking at three routes to finding your property in the first place.
- ESTATE AGENT
The most conventional way to find a property is to use a real estate agent and this can provide decent value in terms of the return on investment, on the basis of convenience yeet it is also the most expensive way to acquire a property.
That said, the agent does have a vested interest in the sale going through and can mediate between the buyer and seller in order to help you get a good deal – just beware that if you are on a budget, the commission you pay for this service isn’t insignificant.
There are some great deals to be found at property auctions, however it’s also the riskiest option in terms of buying a house, as you are essentially buying it “sold as seen”.
There’s usually a reason why a house is being sold at auction, and sometimes these reasons can be less than ideal. Now, it could be as simple as the bank having foreclosed on the house and their policy is to always sell at auction, or perhaps a relative has inherited the property, though it might be for a more dubious and unscrupulous reason – so this is something to be mindful of and it’s important to do as much research into the property as possible prior to the auction.
- GO DIRECT
A frugal albeit more time consuming option is to find sellers directly and negotiate with them one-to-one. Today, the internet is making finding homeowners wishing to sell their property direct a lot easier.
In summary, consider the fact you are buying a home rather than just a house and be sure to check it out from a lifestyle perspective. Then, when it comes to finding a property consider all the options.