Buying a home is probably the most important financial decision that most of us will make in our lives.
House hunting can be an exhausting undertaking and decisions about which property to buy can be led as much from the heart as it is by the head.
As it can take a long time to find the property that is just right for you we thought we would share a handy viewing tool with you that we found on insurance company Aviva’s website to help with the process.
Aviva have worked with a group of surveyors to create an interactive house visual which features a useful viewing checklist to help you identify common signs of maintenance trouble when viewing a property.
The most useful bit in our opinion is that they also show you the average cost to fix them.
Sometimes buyers are put off unnecessarily by the worry of what building works will cost, whereas in fact the agent has probably taken the costs into account when assessing the value of the property.
Take your phone or tablet with you on the viewing and you can simply click on the selected areas of the house graphic to see tips to help you identify some of the most common problems.
You can also use your phone or tablet to take photos of the property (but do ask permission first).
Obviously you will have worked out your budget. Try to stick to this as this will allow you to factor in any maintenance work you might have to pay for.
You should get a mortgage in principle agreed so you are ready to move as soon as you find what you want.
Make a list of the points that are most important to you in the order of most to least important.
These could include
1. The number of bedrooms
2. The number of bathrooms
3. Open plan or separate rooms for living/kitchen
5. Parking and Garage
6. Budget for modernising and decorating
Add in anything else that is important to you and your family.
Make use of agents websites and property portal sites like Zoopla and Rightmove to find out as much as you can about available properties in your area.
Most will have photographs, floorplans, online brochures and local information, and some have virtual tours to help with your shortlisting.
Discuss any missing information with the agent and ask about the sellers position and timescales.
Try to arrange a series of viewings over a day or two so you can more easily compare the properties on your list. Make sure though that you leave enough time to look properly, make notes and then have time to think about what you have seen (and discuss with a friend, partner or family member) to help ‘fix’ each property and its pros and cons in your mind, before moving onto the next appointment.
Once you have found the property of your dreams and made the decision to move check out our blog about buying and selling property – keeping your property sale moving forward.