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Evaluating your property purchase

When you visit a house during an open house or an appointment with your property agent, take your time. Carefully weigh up the following factors before deciding if the property that you are looking to buy is right for you:

  • Price The price is the main criterion for most of us. Learn how you can or can not afford to pay, request a mortgage pre-approved before you start viewing any properties. Perform a thorough due diligence on the price of the property and in case of buying investment property for sale, make sure that the discount offered is genuine. Perform the due diligence before you even step out to see the property to save you time on being disappointed and wasting a trip if the price des not stack up.
  • Fees Yet, even if you can pay for a property mortgage, other property costs such as property taxes and service charges could put it out of your reach. In some new areas, property taxes are lower until the facilities and services such as sidewalks, parks, fire stations and schools are built. You must have an idea of future property taxes for properties you are considering.
  • Architecture Determine if you like the style of the house. Evaluate how the house will be easy to maintain and clean. If you are buying a rental property as a buy to let investment, then make sure that the property layout and number of rooms lend themselves to providing you the maximum rental value.
  • Alterations and size Ask yourself if the interior will meet your requirements today and tomorrow. Are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms? Is there a room for a home office or game room, if necessary? The garage is about the right size? Do you need a garage at the property? Is there enough storage space?(The old houses are full of charm and can sometimes be bigger offering more storage space.
  • Lot Size Again, you should consider your current and future needs. Review the property size for its rent ability to make sure it will appeal to the type of tenants you plan to target for the rentals. If it is to be a family home then does it have enough space for a family? Or are you buying the property for occupation by single people or couples who would rather have a smaller property with a smaller garden to manage with no lawn to mow
  • Landscaping Are you looking for a property requiring minimal landscaping and hence low management or looking for a property that you intend to occupy and want the charm of spending a few weeks a year in the garden? You need to assess the type of garden to assess the costs of maintenance. Its again a question of money and time
  • Maintenance and refurbishment Are you likely to need to upgrade the heating and other utilities? Does the water supply need work? Is the roof requiring replacement soon or in the coming years? Will you need to redesign your kitchen or bathroom soon? Consider these expenses as part of the purchase price when you speak with your buy to let mortgage advisor. To assess the overall expense, you would ideally want to carry out a thorough property survey to determine the exact costs of any further work required to bring the property up to the state you want it. A full survey requires a lengthy discussion and we will not go into any lengthy detail here.
  • Extras Know exactly what is included in the price of the house and what is not. Appliances, curtains, blinds, central vacuum and air conditioners If you are in doubt, ask questions and get answers in writing.
  • General Condition Should the exterior should be repainted, does it need rendering, repairing, brickwork replacing… or any other extra work? The windows; are they safe and waterproof? Is exterior lighting sufficient? Are there any cracks in walls or floors? Does the flooring need replacing soon? Is there an alarm system? Is the water pressure sufficient? Do the hot water or cold water taps do they work properly? Is the heating system in working order? Does the property need rewiring? Check for damp, mould, signs of wood rot or any sign of wood worm, any other structural problems.

The idea is to make sure that you do thorough homework on the property and make sure that you don’t end up with any nasty surprises later down the line after the purchase!

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