A Conversation for Tips on Buying a House

Make a checklist

Post 1

Simon the Silly Sausage (Gone AWOL from h2g2)

Make a list of all your priorities.

Number of Bedrooms, Location, , Price, Local Transport, Schools, Parking, Garden size, Community, Amount of decoration/restoration needed, etc.

Then just keep on looking until you find a house that meets all your priorities.
Once you find a place that comes close, go and view it at least 3 times, on different days, and different times.
What looks like a quiet residential street, may be a busy short cut during rush hour.
Take as many people with you as possible, the more eyes looking for problems the better. If the sellers object, they obviously have something to hide.

Don't let bad decorations put you off. Try and imagine all the rooms you look at as being empty and nicely decorated. It only takes an hour or so to slap some new paint on the walls.

Be nosey, find out why they are selling, what the neighbors are like, what things about the house don't they like. You'll be surprised how honest most people are.

Some things I wish we'd asked / looked for

Post 2

Cheerful Dragon

We bought our house more than 10 years ago. It suited us (still does) in terms of size, location, number of rooms, price, standard of decoration. But a few problems have cropped up over the years, so here are some things I will look into more closely if we ever move.

Where's the stop-cock? (We didn't find out there isn't one inside the house until we needed some plumbing work done. We have to go outsite to turn off the water because our plumbing has been so badly messed about with that an indoor stop-cock can't be fitted.)

When was the house last re-wired and who did it? (I.e., was it done by a qualified electrician or somebody doing D.I.Y.?) The wiring is OK, for the most part, but the shower wiring left something to be desired, and there's some untidy cabling running up the inside of the airing cupboard that will have to be redone if we ever get rid of the airing cupboard.

If the cooker is electric, make sure it's been installed properly. There should be a mains switch for turning it off within 6 feet (I think) of the cooker. The switch should be readily accessible. Our cooker has a mains switch within 6 feet - but it's behind a cupboard!

If the house has central heating, check the boiler for age. Older ones are generally bigger and less efficient. Ask how often it has been serviced. Check whether the heating and hot water can be controlled separately. Ours can, but only up to a point. This isn't something that would have put us off buying the house, but it can be irritating in the summer.

As well as visiting the house on different days and different times, try to make sure you see it under different weather conditions. Many houses look lovely in sunshine, but an area can look a real dump in bad weather.

Remember that, here in the UK, sellers are obliged to tell you things like whether the neighbours are noisy. In our case, there's a social club near our house, which is OK most of the times, but gets noisy (discos, functions) on Friday and Saturday nights, especially in the summer.

Make a checklist

Post 3

Otto Fisch ("Stop analysing Strava.... and cut your hedge")

In response to Simon's suggestion about seeing the place three times at different times of the day....

I think you're right, but it's probably worth being aware of the state of the market. Is property being sold the minute it comes on the market, or are things slow? Remember that low prices means that fewer houses are on the market, which means that demand can still be very high even if the local economy isn't great.

I went to see a place the second day it was back on the market, and really, really liked it. I was going to make an offer there and then, but caution prevailed and I asked to come and see it. I arranged it for two days later, (and in the evening) but they had already accepted an offer by then. The place I bought is probably less nice, but slightly better located and a lot cheaper, so I have no complaints! I was gutted at the time, though....

Best wishes


Make a checklist

Post 4

angelof 2nd moon

smiley - starIf you want to by a house..think first because the house will take a lot of your sparetime and give you more work when you are tired, AND give you new worries, like :what does the garbage-collecting cost you..?.and how do I warm it up when it´s winter?
But if you really need one, go inside it and listen and if it feels right..and friendly ...then ..it´s ok.smiley - angel A house with a plum tree fullof sweet plums and a (resting)sun-chair..=!.smiley - bigeyes

Make a checklist

Post 5

angelof 2nd moon

<angel means buy above...(just tired)..sorry!smiley - sleepy

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