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For first-time buyers, viewing a potential new home can be an exciting time. However, it’s important to view each property with a critical eye to avoid making costly mistakes. Here are our 10 costly mistakes first time buyers make when viewing a house and how to avoid them. 1. Not Knowing What to Look For […]
25 September 2023
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For first-time buyers, viewing a potential new home can be an exciting time. However, it’s important to view each property with a critical eye to avoid making costly mistakes. Here are our 10 costly mistakes first time buyers make when viewing a house and how to avoid them.
Table of Contents
One of the biggest mistakes first-time buyers make is not doing a thorough inspection of the property. This includes checking for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks in the walls or foundation, as well as checking the plumbing and electrical systems. We would advise doing the following checks as a minimum to avoid any costly surprises:
It is so easy these days to jump online and find information on a property or area, so you can see how much growth there has been over time. Rightmove has a list of sold prices that can be accessed from the listing and websites such as Zoopla even uses data to predict current prices for properties. You can also research the Local Authority Development plans, which can give an indication of future growth. Not only can research guide you on how much to offer on a property, but it can also help you to avoid losing money further down the line by choosing an area that may fair worse should prices fall.
When you fall in love with a home, you can forget to consider the neighborhood. However, it is vital to research the area, including the local schools, crime rate, and proximity to amenities like shops and restaurants. Also, visit the area at different times of the day to assess noise and traffic.
It is so easy to get carried away when we look at the aesthetics of a room, but overlooking the lack of space can be one of the most costly mistakes viewers can make. It is vital that the rooms will fit your own furniture, as you don’t want to have to fork out for a new sofa on day 1!
It is also worth checking that there is space to change the layout or add room if need be. For example, a house that has a loft space that can be converted could be turned from a starter home into a family home and save you thousands of pounds on having to move. Imagine yourself living in the space. It’s important to consider factors like the layout, room sizes, and storage space to ensure the home is a good fit for your lifestyle.
Staging is designed can help make a home more attractive, but as a buyer, it is important to not let it cloud your judgment. A brand new kitchen may look amazing but look at the practical elements such as the number of cupboards. It’s important to look beyond the decor and furnishings to ensure the home meets its practical needs.
If you spot something that could indicate an issue or it is picked up on a survey, such as mould on walls and ceilings or a damaged roof, it is always beneficial to get a specialist to assess the problem. Seeking advice from a professional may cost you a little extra at the time, but it could save you a lot of money in the long run. A professional opinion can also make it easier for you to negotiate with the seller on the price of the property if any issues are uncovered.
Buyers may not ask enough questions during the viewing process, such as the age of the boiler, how long the property has been on the market, or if there are regulations for any recent renovations. It’s important to get as much information as possible to make an informed decision. Check out our questions to ask on a viewing blog for more detail on this.
Not only can natural lighting can have a big impact on the look and feel of a home, but natural light coming in through doors and windows can actually help to heat a home. Also, take a look at the garden faces as South facing gardens will receive more sun than a North facing garden.
Not only should you think about your deposit, but also additional costs, such as valuation fees, mortgage fees, surveys, stamp duty (5% over £425k), and removal costs. Also don’t overlook any minor renovation costs such as updating outdated fixtures or replacing worn carpets. It’s important to factor in these costs when considering the overall budget for the home.
Finally, first-time buyers often start to view but aren’t ready to secure a property. Always head to a viewing with your mortgage decision in principle in place and having done your research, so you are in a position to put in an offer quickly if need be.
Also, take a trip to the property on another day before the viewing as this can save time on the day by allowing you to assess the outside of the property and local area. Not being ready to take action and taking too long to make a decision could cost you the property itself, with another buyer getting in there first.
Viewing a potential new home can be an exciting but nerve-wracking experience for first-time buyers. By avoiding these 10 costly mistakes, you can make a more informed decision and find yourself a home that doesn’t bring with it any costly surprises. For further information on the entire process, read our step by step guide to buying a house.
From mortgages and insurance to viewings, offers, exchange and completion, our Buyers’ Guide will take you through everything, step by step, from start to finish.
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