Published: 25/04/2013 By Justin BurnsIt’s always tempting to rush in with an offer when a property catches your eye. You don’t want to miss the boat and let someone else walk away with your dream house. However, it’s always a good idea to take some time out to review your decision and make sure that the house is going to be a good home and a good investment.
Check out local area
Whether you’re new to the area or you’ve lived a few roads away your whole life, it’s important that you investigate the local area before you consider putting in an offer on the property. Areas can vary greatly – even adjacent roads can have very different aspects – so you should walk around and really get to know the immediate area around your potential purchase. Is the house on a bus route? Are there nearby alleys or pathways that make a popular hangout for kids? Is the street lighting good? Is there a lot of litter? The list is endless and there will always be something that you don’t like but if your top gripes can be avoided, the property will start to become even more appealing.
Meet the neighbours
No one’s suggesting you arrange a cosy dinner party for the immediate neighbours but it’s always a good idea to knock on the door and let them know you’re thinking about buying the house next door – after all, you could be living next to these people for a long time. As well as checking if they have a house full of barking dogs, you can take the opportunity to ask questions about the area.
Check out local blogs or other sites about the area – this is a great way to get the lowdown on local groups/activities, council issues, new developments etc that could all have an impact on whether you choose to make an offer.
Drive round after dark
Areas can change dramatically once the sun goes down and a night-time drive will give you a good idea about whether there’s any nocturnal activity that might put you off buying the house. Is there a pub or off license that’s a noisy local hangout or is everyone tucked up in front of the telly by 9pm?
Be open minded to all property types
What happens when you find a property that hits the mark when it comes to location but falls short on ticking the other boxes on your list? The answer is, don’t write it off just yet – it makes much more sense to give credence to purchasing an ugly duckling in your ideal street, than to put an offer on the perfect house in a less salubrious location.
Not all houses began life with open-plan living spaces, en suite bathrooms and landscaped gardens – at some point someone had to install them and, with a bit of love, patience and money, pretty much any house can be upgraded to include many of the items on your wish list. Obviously, you need some potential in your would-be property – size, structural soundness, space to extend etc – but if you look beyond the tired façade, dated kitchen and neglected garden, there’s not much that can’t be achieved.
Whilst everyone wants to walk into a house and fall in love with it in five seconds, you’re more likely to find a property you can afford in your preferred location if you’re realistic. Use your imagination to view the house as after a thorough makeover it might well be your forever home.