Express Estate Agency Blog

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When viewing properties, it may be a good idea to make a list of all the essential requirements you need for a new house, and take the list with you when viewing potential properties. Here are a few things to consider;

  1. Council Tax – find out how much the council tax will be, by establishing the ‘band’ the house is in. This information can be found on-line, via the estate agent, or by contacting the local council.
  2. Leasehold or Freehold? – a question that many people forget to ask when viewing a property, but it can be vitally important. A leasehold property usually requires payment of ground rent to a landlord. If the house is leasehold, find out exactly how much rent you will be expected to pay.
  3. Available parking – assess the parking space(s) you require, especially if you have more than one vehicle. If you need a garage, make sure that you view the inside of garages wherever possible. If you are viewing a property on a main road, find out about any parking limitations or restrictions.
  4. Garden(s) – try to view a garden as an extension to a house. Establish what kind of garden (if any) you would ideally like, and think about ongoing maintenance. Walk around the garden when viewing a house, and check for any security issues (broken fences etc.).
  5. Central Heating – when you are viewing properties in the summer, this may seem of little importance. However, in the winter, central heating can be very beneficial! Ask questions about the system that is installed, and make a note of the age of the boiler. Boiler replacements or repairs can be very expensive in the long run.
  6. Schools – if you have children, find out which school catchment area the property is in. Find out more about the schools in the area, are they performing well? Generally speaking, annual results are provided on-line for you to assess. Also remember, there is no guarantee that you will get into the local schools, depending on the requirements and area population, so ask before you buy.
  7. General area – perform a little research on an area before viewing a house, consider the crime rate, transport links and local towns.
  8. Chains – find out if there is a ‘chain’ on the property. A chain is quite common in the house selling process, where a number of parties are involved in various buying/selling transactions. Delays in the exchange of contracts between different ‘links’ can have a huge impact on how quickly a sale can go through.
  9. Work – has any work been performed on the house recently, and if so, what? Find out about any previous problems as soon as possible.
  10. Amenities – find out about the local shops and services available in the area, and how accessible they are. Also consider broadband and cable/satellite coverage in an area, although most areas are now fully covered, remote locations should be checked out.

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