Questions every first-time buyer should ask!

Once you’ve saved your deposit and found your ideal home, it’s now the right time to look at the small print. First-time buyers often believe that once they’ve decided on their chosen property they can relax a little. There are lots of enquiries that buyers need to make to ensure they don’t run into problems further down the line.

How much can I afford to borrow?

A future change in your circumstances could lead to you struggling to afford mortgage repayments. You should try to estimate what your other bills will be, consider thinking about what might happen if you were to lose your job or interest rates increased. You must also factor in a buffer zone to accommodate unexpected expenses. After this, reconsider how much you could realistically afford to borrow.

Why has the vendor decided to sell?

Is the vendors reason for moving related to the property, neighbours or area? All of these reasons may be something that could impact you in the future, so it’s worth asking why. Vendors can be economical with the truth when it comes to explaining why they are selling, so be wary of answers if they don’t add up.

Am I buying in the right area?

It’s wise to choose the best property for a good price, in the best area you can afford. It’s worth considering up-and-coming areas. You should check out whether new properties are being built there, or are businesses investing in that area. These are signs that the area could be on the up and that you could see a great return on your investment as a result.

How long has the property been on the market?

If the property has only recently gone on sale and is generating interest, it could be that you’ll need to make an offer fairly quickly in order to avoid losing out to other potential buyers. If it’s been on the market a while, the vendor may be willing to look at a price reduction.

Which survey should I choose?

A survey is a health check on a property. These can help flag up problems that may cost a small fortune to put right later. If problems are spotted, you may want to reconsider buying the property. You could also negotiate a price reduction to accommodate the cost of repair work, or the vendor may agree to do the repairs themselves before completion. There are different types of surveys available, depending on the type of property you buy, how much detail you want and the budget you have.

What should I look out for in the survey?

Any structural issues and mentions of damp or mould need further investigation because they could be indicative of more serious issues. Similarly, problems with the foundation, flashing damage, along with points raised in relation to standing water or the electrical supply will also require a second opinion. Always ask the author of the survey if you are unsure.

Has the seller ever had problems with their neighbours?

If an official complaint has not been made, then the vendor can deny any issue. If the vendor has had to write to the neighbour about a problem or complain to the council, then they will have to declare the dispute. You can always ask the agents too - If they know that there is an anti-social neighbour living next door.

Have any planning applications for nearby land or properties been submitted?

It’s vital that you do thorough checks to avoid any surprises further down the line. Instruct your conveyancing solicitor to do a planning search. It might cost a little extra, but it’s worth knowing what’s going on around you.

There may be other questions that you want to ask, to figure out if this property is right for you. It’s important that you do your best to get these answered.

If you’re looking for any more advice or information, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.