Have you asked that all important question, Where Shall I put the Christmas Tree? If you have asked it while walking around a property and you have identified the perfect place then its clear the house is the ONE 🙂
How many people have said that to you when buying a house, if you can visualise where your Christmas Tree will be positioned then that is the house for you. What about those people that don’t celebrate Christmas, how does it work for them? No Christmas Tree no house?
Here are House Moving Solutions top five tips outlining what to look for when buying a house (aside from the Christmas Tree location)
1. Make a list of what is important to you and your family (Forget the Christmas Tree location)
For example, my list included a garden for the little one. A decent sized third bedroom, either for guests or in case we decide to extend the family. Potential space to extend so given the option so we don’t have to move again. And finally a big family area / kitchen diner, or potential to develop this kind of space.
Realistically what can you afford? Ask yourself, how much deposit do you have? how much money do you have spare to renovate if required? If you are renovating then do some research.
On average to rewire a 3 bedroomed house it is £4k, and approximately £5k for central heating. Which? give some guidance on costs http://www.which.co.uk/ but best practise is to contact tradespeople for a quote.
Collate a list of reputable suppliers, seek recommendations from people and book them in early. The best companies get booked up fast! You may not put an offer in on ‘that’ renovation project but another one may come up next week so it’s worth preparing. If you are moving at Christmas then be prepared to wait until the New Year as a lot of tradespeople are busy in the run up to Christmas. Also – if you are looking for appliances, then don’t rule out the January Sales, or Black Friday week, depending when you move.
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3. Take your time preparing for and viewing houses
It is really hard for me to say this, as when I love a house I want to make an offer straight away. Research the area before viewing the house, drive down the street, check out the local amenities and take a look at the Schools on the Ofsted website (if you have children) https://reports.ofsted.gov.uk/Have a look on google maps https://www.google.co.uk/maps/ so you know what plot of land the house is on. Internal and External photo’s are generally taken by professionals to accentuate all the good features of the property.
Once you have done the groundwork and know the house is somewhere you would consider living, then arrange a viewing. You will be better placed to know whether you would like to make an offer after the first viewing. That is when you also need to consult the checklist for what to look for in your new home.
When you are at the house take your time! Check everything you need to check – lights, windows, extractor fan, integrated cooker if you like! You could be paying hundreds of thousands of pounds for this property, it has to be right for you.
4. Arranging a House Viewing
Unless you know the owner then you will have to deal with an Estate Agent. I know there are good and bad Estate Agents out there, and every experience is different. Have a look at the All Agents website to see how the Estate Agent you are dealing with is rated https://www.allagents.co.uk/
First, email the agent with the houses you would like to view, and then follow up with a call. If it’s your first contact with that Estate Agent be ready for them to ask you war and peace about your personal life… kids, dogs, ideal house, fireplace, etc etc but ultimately they want to know how much you can afford. It’s not a secret that Estate Agents do this kind of rigorous checking and it’s exactly their job to do this! If we were selling our home we would want this kind of service. They need to know if you are a serious buyer. Keep some cards close to your chest though – the Estate Agent doesn’t need to know everything, and if they do it can work against your power of negotiation.
5. Your offer
After you have gone through all your considerations, you will come to a point where you are happy to put an offer in.
Know what you will offer and what your ceiling price is too. Check out Zoopla http://www.zoopla.co.uk/ for an estimate valuation (although bear in mind they can sometimes be a bit inaccurate) Always offer lower than your maximum, unless you are entering a bidding war. There are a LOT of modern day auctions taking place, hosted by Estate Agents and not auction houses, so be aware of the ‘offer’ process, especially if you are looking at a renovation project or a property in a sought after area.
Has the house has recently returned to the market? If so ask why the previous sale fell through, and if you are interested in the property and make contact with the vendor then ask them what price they would be willing to accept. House prices with tags such as ‘guide price’ and ‘offers over’ are leaving the market very open to interpretation.
Estate Agents will keep their cards very close to their chest, so you will never know exactly what other offers have been made, nor the value. Ask the Estate Agent who the competition is, what, if any offers have been made, and draw your own conclusions from the answers given. Find out if you are bidding against cash buyers and if you are not one yourself then sell other spects of your position, no chain, mortgage in principle, etc etc.
Forget about finding a location for the Christmas Tree goes and focus on these top tips and you won’t go far wrong when buying your new home!
Until next time, good luck searching for the home and Christmas Tree of your dreams.
Moving house and struggling to know where to begin? House Moving Solutions provides a consultancy service to take all the stress out of the move for you. Click HERE and take a look at the range the services we offer, from decluttering / home staging to sourcing, appointing and managing all suppliers associated with your move!
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