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8 questions to ask when purchasing a property

Published: 30/07/2021

Purchasing a property may be the most significant purchase of your life, but it can also be one of the most stressful times.

When viewing a property, the average time spent walking around is just 20 minutes; that's not very long when you may live there for many years.

We advise you to consider these questions when viewing a property to buy:

1. WHY ARE THE OWNERS SELLING? 

Usually, homeowners have good reasons for moving, and the list is lengthy, from relocations to job promotions to outgrowing space or downsizing.

2. WHAT IS INCLUDED WITHIN THE SALE?

Some vendors consider selling items to you, whereas others will be taking what you may take for granted would be staying. This can help avoid any misunderstandings if you decide to progress with the purchase.

3. HOW MUCH IS COUNCIL TAX?

Forecasting your monthly outgoings is vital, and asking how much the council tax is will give you an accurate figure to add to your budgeting spreadsheet.

4. IS THERE ANY DAMP?

Damp has a distinctive earthy smell. Sometimes it is just condensation caused by a lack of ventilation or a fixed leak and drying out. Look for signs of mould or mildew on walls, floors, ceilings, and peeling wallpaper.

5. HOW MUCH STORAGE SPACE IS THERE? 

 If you are a budding artist and the second bedroom is earmarked to be your studio, what will you do when you have overnight guests? Or maybe you're a cycling fanatic, where will you put your bicycle?

6. HAVE THERE BEEN ANY ISSUES WITH NUISANCE OR NOISY NEIGHBOURS?

Sellers are obliged to be honest about any issues they have had with neighbours, but a nuisance neighbour for one person might not be for another. A Seller's Property Information Form (SPIF) can help you.

7. WHEN WAS THE CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEM SERVICED?

Central heating systems are costly and should be serviced every year. The average lifespan of a boiler is approximately between 15-20 years.

8. WHAT ARE THE MOBILE SIGNALs AND BROADBAND LIKE? 

Poor mobile and broadband connections can prevent prospective buyers from buying a property. RootMetrics surveyed 2,125 UK adults and reported that for 34% of adults, mobile signal is more important than the local schools' quality. And 41% of property sellers would promote having an excellent mobile phone signal to potential property buyers.
 
We recommend that you check your phone signal when you are viewing a property. You can check uSwitch and Ofcom to test coverage and speed.

The above list is the key questions to ask when buying a property, but we know this list is not limited to these questions. If you are considering buying a central London apartment or house, call Circa London on 020 3137 7877.