Top tips when viewing a house

Blog - Sept 017 - Houses

Moving house is one of the most important financial decisions you will make - so it’s important to get it right. We have all heard someone say “I wish I had known that before we moved in.” By following the 10 tips below, we can help ensure this isn’t you:

1. Do your Homework: Before viewing it’s always a good idea to do some simple background checks. Check the internet to find out as much as you can about the property and the area, and buy a local paper to read up about what’s happening. If you know people who live in the area, ask them for an honest account. You can even check crime stats by postcode at UK Crime Stats.

2. Know what’s really important in your home: There are many different reasons for moving and make sure you know what’s truly important to you, as opposed to a ‘nice to have’. Do you need more room? Upstairs and down? Less room? More than one bathroom? Is access important? A garden? A drive? Knowing what you are willing to compromise on – and what you’re not – will make your search far easier.

3. Know what’s really important in the area: It’s really important to consider the location of your house, as you are going to need to be able to live comfortably in the area. Do you need to live within a catchment area for a school, or nearer to public transport or your place of work? Is it important to have shops nearby? Masjid? A gym? Cafes?

4. Get a feel for the neighbourhood: Visit the area at different times of the day and night to get a true feel for the neighbourhood and spot any potential problems. This could include increased traffic around school pick up and drop off, problems parking in the evening, and noisy venues nearby.

5. Find out why the house is being sold: How long has the property been on the market and what is the reason for the sale. If the person you are buying from has only been there a short time it may mean there is a problem with the area and something you need to know about.

6. Become a detective inside the home: It is always better to be safe than sorry, so really look critically at any prospective home. Does the property look neglected, worn out and tired? This could have a bearing on what you will need to spend after moving in, or could be a bonus if you want to renovate. If viewing in the day and internal lights are on, turn them off as they could indicate that the rooms are naturally dark. Is there an overpowering smell of air fresheners in every single room? It could be masking a musty damp smell, so look for other clues of damp such as black marks around windows and on walls.

7. Become a detective outside the home: Detailed surveys will reveal any structural problems before you buy any home, but you can do some early detective work to rule out some houses before you ever get to that point. Do the walls look perfectly straight, or do they seem bowed? Do the windows look even? Are there any serious, large cracks (make sure you walk all around the exterior of the property). Also, look at the roof, as this would be a major expense to repair, and the guttering as if water is not being directed away from the house, it can cause internal damp problems.

8. Know what comes with the sale: Be sure you know exactly what is included in the fixtures and fittings part of your transaction to avoid any surprises a little further down the road. Take a tape measure to the viewing to make sure that your own belongings will fit in their new surroundings.

9. Do a price comparison: Find out how the asking price compares to other properties in the area, and find out what it sold for previously. Ask how many viewings it has had, and how many offers have been made. Know how long it has been on the market as this may indicate that it has been priced too highly.

10. Know what you can afford: When applying for any type of home finance, it’s important to be realistic about what you can afford. We assess each Home Purchase Plan (HPP) application on its own merits, taking many aspects into account, including your deposit contribution, income, other financial commitments and your ability to afford the finance should rental rates increase in the future. For more information, please see our website here

To find out more about our Sharia compliant Islamic home finance products, which are based on joint ownership and leasing and do not involve interest charges, click here, call our customer services team on 0800 4086 407 or go into one of our UK branches and offices.



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