Buying a New Home: Ten Point Checklist
When buying a new home (not newbuild) for peace of mind remember to check out these points.
1- Has any building work been carried out on the property since the current owners moved in, and if so, who was it done by, and is it still under warranty? Warranties are usually transferable and you may as well grab them if you can.
2- What is the average cost of the utility bills, the gas, electricity, heating, water, and local government taxes? These can vary hugely from place to place, and could make a big difference to your total outgoings. You need to know.
3- Does the garden or yard get sunshine, and if so at what time of the day, or is the area prone to flooding at certain times of the year? Take particular interest in this point if the property is located close to a river or the coast. Placid rivers in the summer can be torrential beasts in winter. Lapping waves can soon become giants. Imagine that, as you stare out across the shimmering blue sea.
4- Are there any trees planted close to the property? These can undermine foundations and cause serious damage. Never buy a thatched cottage situated below large trees. The constant dripping will quickly damage and rot the roof, and if there are trees overhanging the house, check out if there are any restrictions in pruning or removing them. A leafless tree in winter can go unnoticed, but that same tree in full leaf in high summer may make the property oppressively dark inside.
5- What are the neighbour like? This is not always an easy question to answer, but we have all seen programmes about impossibly awful neighbour, and believe me, you wouldn't want to pitch up next to the neighbour from hell. A little research will give you some peace of mind, and remember this is definitely not a point your legal eagles will always answer satisfactorily. It is certainly something you are best doing yourself
6- Is vehicle parking in the area easily and freely available for you and your visitors? If it isn't, you might find your visitors visit less, though only would know if that was a good thing.
7- Has the property you are buying, or indeed any of the neighboring houses ever been robbed. Is it located in an area known for house breaking and burglaries? If the owner seems strangely reluctant to answer that, you might wonder why, and you could ask your local police sergeant.
How quickly do the owners want you to move? This might suit you, but equally it might not. Check it out for peace of mind.
8- How long has the property been up for sale? If it has been on the market for many months, or even years, that's a sure sign that something may not be right. Perhaps the price is too dear, perhaps the house is falling down, perhaps the neighbour are appalling. Whatever the reason, you need to know. Delve deeper.
9- If you have children, are there good schools close by? You don't want a twenty mile drive across the busy city, or difficult terrain every morning and afternoon. Good local schools are one of the first things families look for when buying a home.
10- Some people leave everything to be checked by their legal team, and are then surprised when they run into problems. Fact is, legal teams don't check all these items, so it is up to you to do so. Remember, for greater peace of mind, you can't check too many points, too thoroughly, when buying a new home.