Buying a property is likely to be the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, so it’s vital you choose carefully. Asking the right questions before you sign on the dotted line can give you peace of mind that you won’t uncover any nasty surprises later on. Here are five things you should ask when viewing a property.
1. How long has the property been up for sale?
If a property has been on the market for ages, this could be a sign that there might be some issues with it which have put off other buyers. Find out whether any other offers have been made and accepted, and if so, why the house sale didn’t go through.
2. How long have the present owners lived in the property?
If the estate agent tells you that the person selling the property is moving on after only a short time, and won’t tell you why they are selling up, this should ring alarm bells.
3. How much is the council tax and any service charges?
It’s not just the cost of the property itself you need to think about when viewing a potential new home. You also need to find out how much your council tax will be, and if there are any service charges to pay, as both of these could substantially bump up the cost of your monthly outgoings.
4. Which fixtures and fittings are likely to be included in the sale?
Find out exactly what the seller is planning on taking with them when they go, and what sort of things they might be prepared to leave behind. For example, are they planning on taking any of the light fittings, or removing a garden outbuilding? Knowing what will and won’t be there when you move in will help you know what additional expenditure you might face.
5. Has any building work been done to the property?
It’s a good idea to know what’s been done to the property if it looks as though big changes have been made recently, such as a loft conversion or extension. Request evidence that the right planning permission was sought and ask to see guarantees for the work.
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Five questions to ask when viewing a house