Finally – after what seems like months of house hunting – you’re finally nearing the grand conclusion. You’ve found a property that you and your family like; a property where you can imagine a future, and see yourselves living. You’re right at the point of making an offer… and then, you should pause.
It’s fair to assume that the idea of being so close to settling on a property and then pausing for further reflection is likely to be an unwelcome one. House hunting is tough and arduous, so backtracking when you’re right on the cusp of making an offer may seem torturous – but it’s incredibly important that you pause, clear your mind, and evaluate the property one last time before you commit to buy.
Why is this pause so important?
The reason a pause is necessary is simple, and we’ve already mentioned it: house hunting is tough and arduous… which means that, if you have been looking for a new home for quite some time, you’re more likely to make a snap decision. It’s entirely natural to want to buy somewhere when you have been searching for months, and seize on the first property you find that fits the bill – but this can be costly.
When evaluating a property, it’s all-too-easy to make assumptions, or to focus on the positives rather than the negatives – and all the more so if you have been searching for a property for months on end. So before you buy, take one final moment to consider the following:
- How long will your commute be? Many people broaden their search area when they have struggled to find properties in their original target area, so it’s worth checking you are comfortable with – or can think of ways to manage – the commuting length from the new property.
- Does the house need any immediate renovation work, and if so, how much will it cost? Many issues – such as fixing rising damp or structural issues such as subsidence – will need to be completed as soon as you move into the house, so you’ll need to budget for this when considering your offer price by sourcing quotes for reputable companies who can complete the work.
- Is the house secure? Home security is always a paramount concern, so if the property does not currently have robust security provisions, you’ll need to contact alarm or CCTV installation companies for quotes that you then, again, factor into your offer price.
- What are the internet and 4G service like? Connectivity is everything in the modern age, so it’s worth asking a telecoms company to check the fastest available service in the area, and checking how well 4G connects on your mobile while viewing the property to ensure these are suitable for your requirements. If they’re not, you can query the possibility of changes, potentially opting for a fibre optic installation in order to increase speeds.
- Is the house or garden overlooked? When viewing properties, it’s natural to focus primarily on the property itself, so you may not necessarily have noticed if the house or garden is overlooked by other properties. If you do find any issues in this regard, you will need to consider measures – such as planting trees or investing in privacy window film – to counter the issue.
It’s important to note that the checks above are not designed to dissuade you from purchasing the property. Instead, the purpose of a pause is to give yourself a little mental breathing space, and to assess a property on its actual merits rather than proceeding due to sheer keenness to end the house hunting process and move on to the next stage of your life. By making these final checks, you can account for any problems you identify when making your offer, plan your budget for the first few months after the move, and – arguably most important of all – ensure there are absolutely no hidden surprises along the way.
*This is a collaborative post.