Starting to look at houses, what do I look for and what do I ask the EA?(8 Posts)
We aren't first time buyers, currently have a shared ownership house but it was a case of buy this or rent another crappy flat with another crappy landlord.
We are finally in a position to buy on the open market so I am going to start looking at properties. First one tomorrow!
What do I look for? What should I be asking? I have a habit of 'that'll do' because I am impatient and want things NOW. I have to get this right.
House I am looking at tomorrow has a new roof, good central heating and windows but it needs updating, very old fashioned décor, kitchen bit of a mess, not shower things like that. We will have money left over to do these things though (if we like it).
Other houses are likely to be 'done' and not need so much doing but I still don't know what to look for or ask other than my criteria.
With regard to the doer upper be realistic as to costs and time - in fact double your estimate and you may be just about there. Could you really live amongst dirty chaos, do you know reliable workmen who could do it, if you are thinking of doing it yourselves, do you really have the time?
In general you need to think about location vis a vis amenities (a doctor / dentist / library / shop / station / bus stop you can walk to is a bonus), schools etc, layout of the rooms - will they work for you - garden (high or low maintenance?), neighbours (sofas in the front gardens or neatly trimmed lawns?) parking
It is not a "that'll do" thing unless the market in your area is moving ultra fast and even then you need to use your head not heart as the costs of moving are so high you really don't want to have to do it again any time soon!
One thing I have just discovered is that Zoopla tells you when the house was first put on the market - this might be useful to know, especially when negotiating price.
To add to home's useful comments, a list of priorities for the house itself, eg
number of bedrooms
number of bathrooms
garden - small/large/none?
Home yes I do tend to underestimate how long things take. It isn't so much as a doer upper, just needs redecorating with a new kitchen and a shower put in, bathroom suite looks decent enough. I have a builder friend and my dad is pretty handy so we should be ok with things like that. Location is not so much of an issue because it will need to be less than 2 miles from DS's school so I know this area well. Health problems mean I don't get the bus so not too concerned about that either, although for when the DCs get older that could be something to think about.
Rock I have already discovered that and been religiously checking to see if a bargain could be had.
Blue yes that's pretty much things I have already told the estate agents.
So basically, its about whether I like it as I have already thought about the other stuff?
Is there anything you think you like or don't like, are you prepared to challenge that? E.g. Ground floor bedrooms are my irrational thing, can't tell you why I avoided ground floor flats to bungalows for ever, but am now in a bungalow ......
Or open-plan kitchen / diner (or not) .... Nothing right or wrong, but is it how you want to live? Or having an en-suite etc.
What are your priorities, versus absolutes?
Future potential? E.g. Garage or loft conversion, extension into garden - particularly important if you think you'll want more / different space in the future, at least you've got the option of developing rather than moving. But, if you're happy this is a short to medium term option, then future potential isn't so important.
I would always ask if there's any been any trouble or noise etc with any of the neighbours. They aren't supposed to lie about it if they know....
If you are likely to be there when DC's are teens it is really good to be near transport eg bus or train so they can get themselves around / to school, otherwise Mum's taxi will be doing overtime which is not fun
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