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What should you look for in your new home?

May 16, 2016
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You have decided to get onto the property ladder for the first time, or to move to pastures new, but what should you look for in your new home?  Here’s a quick home-buying checklist.

Windows
Windows can be important. Firstly, the amount of natural light that comes into your home might be important to you – if this is the case you will need to make sure the windows are a decent size. Double-glazed windows will also save on your heating costs in the winter. If you need to install them then you need to factor this cost in the price of the home.

Heating, plumbing and electrics
You invest a lot of money into buying a property and after you’ve spent that money you don’t want to have to carry out expensive work immediately – such as replacing the boiler, radiators, pipes or electrics.  Work like this could be costly and disruptive so when you view the property, inspect the boiler, look at the fuse box and sockets, check out the radiators – do they look in good condition? Investing in an in-depth house survey should confirm any problem areas if you have your suspicions.

Storage space
Ample storage is necessary in any home, especially family homes.  Making sure your new home has ample storage space for your needs is important – if the rooms are small and there is little storage your floor space could be eaten into with cupboards and wardrobes.

House orientation
The direction in which your property and garden face can have a big effect on the amount of natural light in your home or the sunshine in your garden. If you have a south facing back garden then you will get a lot of sunshine throughout the summer, without your home blocking it out. If your home faces in other directions you might get a darker back garden and a brighter front garden. You’ll need to assess what is important to you. 

Phone signal and internet speeds
It may sound simple but when you’re viewing a property,  check the strength of your phone signal. If you can’t get a signal then would you be willing to change your phone network?   Similarly, if you require a fast internet connection it’s advisable to ask about the broadband speed and enquire whether the area is connected to a fibre-optic network. 

Local schools
Local schools can affect your home move in many ways – whether you have children or not.  Many families move house to get their child into a respected school and if the house you like is in agood catchment area this could affect the value of the home – would you be willing to pay more for a home in a good catchment?  If the property is very close to a school there could be traffic problems at school drop-off time – it’s worth returning to the home during the school run. 

Parking
Though street parking may not be an issue in rural areas, in towns and cities there can be limited parking outside your home  – couple that with no driveway and it can be difficult to park anywhere near your home. If the property doesn’t come with a driveway is there enough room on your street to park – and if you have 2 cars is there enough room for both of you? 

Neighbours and neighbourhood
How do you feel about the closeness of your neighbours? Can they look into your lounge from their bedroom or see into your bedroom from their lounge? You might be able to put a fence but check the view from all your windows if privacy is important to you.  

After you’ve viewed the property it might be worth re-visiting and asking the neighbours about the area. Check local facilities too – if you have a family you’ll be looking for different things to a child-free couple who enjoy socialising with friends. 

If you are looking to buy a home and you need a mortgage contact Teachers Building Society on 0800 278 669 or request a call back here.