Ask the right questions

Ask the right questions

What are the most important questions to ask when buying a house?  The sale is agreed the legal process begins and the sale is in the hands of your solicitors.  This is where a lot of sales can flourish or flop before they have even started.

So what are the questions to ask when buying a house?  Well once you’ve put an offer in on a house, you will probably request a survey as this is prerequisite for a mortgage offer. At this point prospective house buyers often think they’ve had a survey done when actually it could just be a mortgage valuation survey and there is a big difference between this and a full structural survey. A full structural survey will cost a great deal more. The age and condition of a property will affect the decision on what kind of survey to select. In addition to instructing a surveyor, there are a number of common questions that a prospective buyer should ask when considering buying a property. Some of the questions to ask when buying a house can help to save a lot of money further down the line.
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Don’t be shy about asking questions about a property you are considering buying.
Detach yourself emotionally and view this as a building you are inspecting. This is the most expensive purchase you will probably ever make. It pays to be cynical. From the seller’s point of view, they want to sell so they want to make it as easy as possible for you to buy. Somewhere you can meet in the middle. Ask these questions and you can feel confident that you’ve made the right purchasing decision. Don’t ask these questions and you may find that you’ve paid more than you have too or, worse still, have bought a property with defects that could cost you more than you think to put right.

  1. What is the general condition of the property? Inspect the brickwork (render and finish – how old is it?) and look at the condition of the roof, including asking if you can inspect the loft. This will highlight if the roof structure has been put in place correctly.
  2. What are the conditions of the drains and pipework? There may also be cracked drains underground so look at the position of trees around the property to see if there are any clues you can see. What is the condition of the fascias (the wooden boarding under the eaves) – is it cracked or in good condition? If it’s raining are there any drips or leaks? Try to come back and view the property at different times of day/weather. Stand on the opposite side of the road to view the property at a distance as from here you will be able to observe the lie of the roof, for example.
  3. Internally, observe how furniture and rugs have been positioned. These could be covering up cracks or rotten floorboards so try and check behind cupboards, ask if you can open doors and lift up rugs. It may look rude but you can explain that you are very interested in the property and therefore keen to decide what kind of survey you need to commission.
  4. Internally, in each room – is it damp (condensation)? Are there enough sockets? What is the condition of the floorboards? Does the room need redecorating? Is it over-looked? are there any cracks in the walls or ceiling? Is there a phone socket?
  5. Specifically, with the bathroom/s – is there a shaver socket? Does it smell of damp? Is there an electric shower? Does it have power and is it earth-bonded?
  6. Ask the owner, generally: has any work been carried out on the property and if so can you see the Guarantees? When was the house rewired? Are there smoke alarms and do they work? Is there loft insulation? What about draught excluders/double glazing?

Other things to think of when buying a property:

  • What is the condition of the boiler, when was it last replaced? How long does it take to heat the water up? How long does it take for the hot water to come through? Is there an alarm? Are there locks on the windows? Are the windows double-glazed?
  • How much do you think it will cost you per year to run and maintain the property? Often it’s not just about the purchase price and the mortgage payments but the running costs and the costs of up-keep – these are important factors that you should also take into consideration when buying a property.

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We hope you enjoyed the article questions to ask when buying a house. For more information ask property experts, Zevizo Properties, or call us today on 0800 228 9012 if you have any concerns about best practice when viewing a property and we can help guide you through the process from a property buyer’s point of view.