Don’t let your dream house turn into a nightmare
It takes an average buyer just eight minutes to decide on a house – no wonder almost 50% soon discover problems. So why not take a few tips from the professionals?
BE THE BUYER EVERYONE WANTS
You need cash, or a buyer for your existing house who’s had all the paperwork, including mortgage and building survey, confirmed. This way the agent will take you seriously.
TRY BEFORE YOU BUY
Rent for a while before settling in a new area or deciding on a different type of house. A stay in the countryside in winter or a historic town at the height of the tourist season will soon reveal what it’s like to live the dream.
HAVE A HOUSE-HUNTING HOLIDAY
View several in a few days, and get an offer in fast. If you spot a
promising property that isn’t on your list, see if the sale board has a phone number or website link.
LOOK ON THE DARK SIDE
Visit your dream house at night, in rush hour, when it rains and – if you can – in extreme weather. Ponder how you’d feel if a neighbour extended their house and blocked a great view. Find out the extent and level of the last floods.
SEE BENEATH THE SURFACE
Take reference photos or videos during viewings, concentrating on what’s expensive to put right – leaking gutters, damp walls, vertical cracks, suspect wiring and infested or rotting wood. Check the shower, gas, electricity and heating, and research broadband speeds and mobile reception in the area.