Are you on the lookout for a house this Autumn? When viewing properties, ask these questions up front

Buying a new property is a big investment! Whether you are viewing potential properties or choosing the best property from shortlisted properties, it is important to make the right choice. But, how can you make the right choice if you don’t have all the information!

 First and foremost, hire an estate agent who is experienced, professional and has in-depth knowledge of the market – it is always a good idea to hire local estate agents, such as estate agents in Sittingbourne. Secondly, it is very important to ask questions; the right questions. If you’re on the lookout for a house this autumn, here are some of the most important questions that you need to ask your estate agent! 

 How long has the property been on the market?

If the property has been on the market for a little too long, chances are there is something wrong with the property that you might have missed. After all, if a property is not selling, there is probably something monumentally wrong. Another reason could be that the property is overpriced, in which case you can always make a lower offer. 

 What is included in the sale price?

You might walk into a property and be wowed by the interiors and the classic design, but what if none of that is even included in the sale price? The thing that might have caught your attention could be the inbuilt modular kitchen with fancy appliances or the vintage sofas with faux fur throws, but there is a chance none of those is actually included in the sale. So, before you set your heart on any property, be sure to find out exactly what is included in the sale price. 

Have any other properties been sold in the area recently?

This is a very important question to ask your estate agent if you want to find out the approximate valuation of any property. Of course, no two properties are ever the same, but you will get a fair idea of how much you should offer to the seller if you decide to buy the property. If the average sale price in the area has increased tremendously, this might be indicative of the fact that the area is up and coming. However, if the property you are considering is the only one that has a really high selling price, then you might want to find out why. 

 How is the area?

Is this a safe neighbourhood?  What are the crime statistics like? How far is the closest school district – this is an important question, especially for young couples and new families. How are the local transport links? Where are the closest grocery store and supermarkets? Are there any green spaces nearby? Is the property close to any train station or airport? What about parking? Before making any decisions, make sure you find out about the area and the neighbourhood.

What is the history of insurance claims for the property?

Think about this, if a house has a history of insurance claims for water damage, the chances are that you might have to deal with water damage or mould in the future. If the owner has taken out an insurance claim for theft, it could be safe to assume that the crime rate in the area is high. By finding out about the history of insurance claims for the last few years, you will get a fair idea of the fundamentals of the property.

 What is the monthly cost of maintaining the property?

Assume, you walk into a gorgeous three-bedroom home with inbuilt technology and a beautifully landscaped garden with a cosy hot tub; you will probably fall in love at first sight. This is where your budget comes into play. You need to ask the seller or your estate agent how much it costs to run the property and maintain the property on a monthly basis. This includes monthly utility bills such as water bills, electricity bills as well as other expenses and so on. This will give you a fair idea of how much you will have to spend on the monthly maintenance and whether or not it fits into your budget.

 What are the neighbours like?

The last thing you want is that you and your family move into a new house and you end up with noisy neighbours! Of course, no seller is really going to disclose that, but you can always do your due diligence by walking around the neighbourhood and speaking to your potential neighbours. Before finalising any potential property, visit the property at different times of the day to get an idea of the neighbours and the neighbourhood. 

 In essence, you should ask your estate agent as many questions as you want. If there is something you want to know, just ask directly. When you have all the answers, you will be able to make a sensible purchase decision.

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