They say that buying a home is one of the most challenging experiences we can go through, mostly due to it being a huge financial commitment. At Haslams we know that being armed with the knowledge to make the best possible decisions will ensure that the process of buying a home is as smooth as possible.
We’re here to help guide you through the buying journey, offering support every step of the way. Follow our guide to the best questions to ask during your property search.
Who to ask
We recommend the following people to seek advice or assistance from:
Estate agent – best placed to answer any questions about the buying process and the property itself and can provide feedback regarding the progression of the sale
Mortgage broker or adviser – to advise which mortgage is best for you and how to process a mortgage application
Solicitor/conveyancer – if you have legal questions reach out to your instructed solicitors; they will carry out the legal work needed to buy a property
Surveyor – tend to be appointed by your mortgage provider to evaluate the physical condition of the property and obtain an independent valuation
Know your affordability
Before you start looking for your dream home, you should take a look at your finances to get an understanding of how much you can borrow from a mortgage lender. There are mortgage calculators online which will provide a borrowing estimate based on a multiple of your household income, which is also influenced by your credit score. This calculator will usually take into account the amount of money you already have saved for a deposit, but you should ensure that you have enough to cover the fees associated with buying a property.
How to choose a property
There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a property, you may find your ideal property to buy, but if it is in an impractical location or isn’t big enough for your family size, then it isn’t a good choice.
Local amenities – what do you need nearby? For some the most important is schools (check the catchment) or local shops, for others a park to walk the dog or a pub is essential.
Property location – can you compromise being situated on a busy road or being some distance from public transport routes? These decisions should be considered for yourself and if you sell in the future.
Transport links – assess whether you can handle the commute time to and from work and/or school, using public transport or car; we recommend trying at different times of the day to be sure.
Freehold or leasehold – be aware of how many years are left on a leasehold property, as this could impact your ability to get a mortgage. Most houses are freehold, but always check before your buy.
New build or second-hand – you can narrow down your search by whether you prefer a newly built house or apartment. New homes can often offer buying incentives and promotions however, new builds can be more expensive than a similar sized second-hand home and may be restrictions around extending or altering your home.
Condition – consider how much time and energy you have to offer a project property. Decorating is minor, however if you need to adapt a property to meet your needs this is a long-term expense. This might include making the property more energy efficient. Start by asking a local contractor for an estimate and factor this into your budget.
Size and space – if you believe your household will expand, of if you plan to entertain family and friends, consider how many bedrooms and how much storage space you need now and in the future. With the cost associated with moving home, it is important to contemplate the long term.
Outside space – similarly to the amount of space inside, what are you looking for in terms of outside space? If you travel a lot, a low maintenance garden would be more appropriate than a large mature garden. It is important to know what other space is on offer; should you need to park at your property, find out if there is parking and where it will be.
Once you have chosen a property, the next bit of information to ask could be:
- How many people are in the chain?
- Do the sellers need to tie in their own purchase?
- When are the sellers hoping to move out?
- Have all the necessary consents been obtained for any work already carried out on the property?
If you are still looking for a property for sale or are starting out your search, speak to our sales team to find out more information regarding the buying process and your property requirements. Call our sales experts on 0118 960 1000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.