When buying a property, you will more than likely take into consideration the usual factors such as the location of the house, its size, the number of rooms, garden space and any local amenities. However, there are a few additional considerations that are also vitally important, but are often overlooked when viewing houses. Here are a few things that you need to add to your checklist;
If you drive, this is of vital importance – don’t just consider the garage and/or driveway spaces. Remember, you may have room for your own car(s), but where will any visitors park their vehicles? Find out if there is any street parking, and if so, any restrictions in place. Remember that parking on main roads is less secure than parking on your own property. Parking can also be an issue with older properties, especially terraces, as they were built in a time when cars were not used. If necessary, find out if you can convert the back yard to use as a parking area.
* Proximity to family & friends
This can work both ways – you may want to be close to your loved ones, but most people don’t want to be too close! Many young couples find that living around the corner from their in-laws can be a nightmare scenario, preferring them to be within easy commuting distance, but not literally next door! Although it’s obviously nice to see family and friends, you may not want them popping around several times a day for a natter. Of course, living close to your relatives can also be a great thing, especially during the holidays, or in the case of an emergency. It really comes down to personal preference – have a good think about this aspect before you buy a property, to avoid possible family disputes later down the line.
* Airports and train stations
Many people will check a property for its proximity to motorways or other main roads, but often forget to check if it is near to an airport or train station. If you view a property that is situated near to an airport, or on a main flight path, always find out if aircraft are likely to become a nuisance as they fly overhead. This can become more of a problem the closer you are to a major airport, as planes lower their altitude to land. Similarly, check the local train station, although a nearby transport link can be a great thing, you don’t want to be woken up in the early hours by a train whizzing past your bedroom window!
* Industrial plants
Find out if there are any industrial or chemical plants in the vicinity of the house, and how this may affect you. Depending on the direction of the wind, unpleasant smells can occur near industrial plants, and this is something you may not notice on your initial viewing.
We’ve all seen in the news about recent floods in the UK, and the damage and upset they can cause, so check that the property is not in a high flood risk area. Bear in mind that insurance companies may charge a higher premium in any such areas.
this can be a major heartache for home owners, so always check to see if an area is troubled by subsidence. This can be caused by a number of factors, including underground abandoned mineshafts. If you are looking at seaside homes, take into consideration any nearby cliffs – as you will no doubt have seen on the news, rock erosion is a common problem, and you don’t want your new home falling into the sea in the future!
The local searches performed by your solicitor as standard should answer a lot of these questions for you, but if you are still unsure, it’s always best to get a professional opinion now, rather than face the consequences later.