Looking for somewhere new to live is never something that you should take lightly. You’re hopefully going to be residing in this property for years to come, so you need to make sure that your family is going to be healthy and happy here. You need to ask the following 20 questions so you can be sure this is the right place for you!
Can You Really Afford This House?
Just because you can get the loan doesn’t mean you can truly afford it. You need to make sure you do the math and figure out how much it will truly cost and how it will affect you financially. Don’t kid yourself into thinking you can afford it if it will cause problems later on!
Are You Sure About The Location?
You can change pretty much anything about a house, but you can’t change the location. This is why people always put emphasis on ‘location, location, location’! You need to make sure you’re certain about the location, that there’s nothing that worries you, and that you have everything you need nearby.
Is There Potential For Improvement Over The Years?
You may want to add bedrooms and things if you plan on extending your family. A house that has potential to improve over the years is valuable because it may mean you won’t have to move! You never know, you may want to add a bedroom, a dining room, another bathroom, or even a garage.
Will You Have Room To Grow Over The Years?
You must consider children, grandchildren, pets, and anything else that may come into your life. You want to have the room to grow while making sure you’re comfortable with the amount you’re paying. Having room to grow is so important.
How Long Has This House Been On The Market?
When looking for the perfect house for sale it’s important to know how long it has been on the market. If it has been on the market for a long time, ask yourself why? Do a little research and you might find out why nobody wants to live there. It could have something to do with the market and the economy, but it could also be the house itself.
How Flexible Is The Seller On The Price?
Asking how flexible the seller is on the price will help you to get the best deal. You don’t want to offend them, but you do want to make sure you’re not paying over the odds and sealing a sweet deal. By asking about the seller’s flexibility rather than offering a much lower amount, you should get a good result.
How Old Is This Property?
Some homes will require more maintenance than others, especially older homes where you will want to keep up the character and beauty. If you fall in love with an older home, you need to a) make sure there are no huge problems that will affect the way you live, and b) make sure you have the time to maintain it.
What Are The Local Schools Like?
Schools in the area can have an affect on house prices, and of course you want your kids or future kids to go to a great school. Even if you don’t plan on having kids for another 5-10 years, you should ensure the schools in the area are great.
Do You Want To Maintain A Garden?
A home with a beautiful garden may be attractive to you, but to keep it up you’ll need to have time to maintain it and spend time gardening in it yourself. You might just find a new hobby you love, but if you can’t keep it up, you’ll ruin the aesthetics of your new home and potentially lower the value.
Will You Have Any Problems Selling This House In The Future?
This house might be perfect for you right now, but will it likely be perfect for somebody else in the future? You may want to sell a few years down the line, so knowing whether you’ll be able to sell it on is important. You need to consider this when looking to make changes to the house too.
How Many Bedrooms Would You Like?
Having more bedrooms can be both a pro and a con. You want your family to have plenty of room, but you don’t want to start paying over the odds to have a spare room or two. Make sure you consider how many bedrooms you need as well as how much it will cost you to maintain a home with that many bedrooms.
How Do Other Similar Properties Compare To This Price?
You need to know whether you're getting true value for money, so make sure you check out similar properties in the area so you know for sure. You can then compare and figure out whether the asking price is fair. Make a list, write down your findings, and work out if there’s room to negotiate. If the seller isn’t willing and they are asking over the odds, you should probably find somewhere else. Unless, that is, there is something very special and unique about the property that warrants the asking price!
Does The Property Seem Safe Enough To Live In?
You need to be thorough when looking at a property and make any notes of things that could be a concern. It can be hard to get a good idea about this if you’re not living in it yet, so you need to make sure you keep a good eye out as you view a property. Make sure you look at the local crime levels, and try speaking to neighbors, and asking about the local risk of flooding. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for pests in the house and anything else that will be costly to you in the future!
Are There Any Problems With This Property?
You need to be on the look out for things like damp and mould. It’s also a good idea to know how old the boiler is and whether anything needs to be replaced. Look at the state of the paintwork and the walls as well as any poor attempts at DIY. All of these things could mean problems for you once you’re living in the property.
Is The Property Connected?
Always ask about the energy supply to a property. Some are electricity only, and aren't on the gas grid. This could mean you have to use alternative fuels. This can be expensive, so it’s always worth thinking about and factoring in to the costs.
What Will Your Utility Bills Cost?
Get a good idea of how much you’re going to be paying every month. Ask the estate agent/owners and look online. There are ways you can bring your utility bills down, but you need to make sure you won’t be paying through the roof.
Is There A Place To Park The Car?
If you have a car now or there may be a car in your future, you need to consider the parking in the area. Is there a driveway, or a garage? Is there a sidewalk where visitors can park? What’s the parking like in any nearby towns? This is an important factor to consider because looking for parking spaces can take up a lot of your precious time!
What’s Included In This Property?
Some people will literally rip the carpets out of a house before moving, so you need to make sure you’re 100% on what is included. You need to consider the costs of the things you’ll need to buy. Will the owner leave carpets and curtains, or are they planning on taking these things with them? What will you need to buy? Some owners may leave plenty of things for you to sort through and keep, but not everybody is that lucky!
Why Are The Current Owners Moving?
Ask how long they’ve lived there, and why they’re moving. They might not tell you the whole truth, so be on the look out for any indication of problems. You can also look up the address online to see if anything untoward happened there. You should know as much as possible about the property before you make your mind up.
Will You Still Love This House In 5-10 Years Time?
Buying a house involves a lot of extra costs and paperwork. It takes time and a lot of effort. This is why you should be sure that you’ll still love this house in 5-10 years time. If it is likely that you’ll grow out of it in a year or two, you should probably reconsider.
Make sure you ask yourself these 20 questions next time you’re on the hunt for a new house. Don’t go by initial looks and impressions alone. They are worth considering, but you also need to explore on a deeper level to be sure you’re truly going to be happy and healthy here, as well as never paying over the odds. Leave your own thoughts and advice below!