With the property market as it is at the moment, it can be tempting to make an offer on a house as soon as you see it. This is especially the case in London. As houses are few and far between, there is a high amount of demand and not much supply.
However, it is important that before you make an offer on a property, especially in London, you are aware of some of the details about the house. You are going to be investing large amounts of money and should be sure that you know what you are getting and that the property is right for you – before you take the step of making an offer.
Some aspects that you should consider looking at, include:
Energy Efficiency of the Home
There are some things that we can do as individuals or families to reduce energy wastage, but the building itself also has a massive impact on how much energy we need.
When you move into a property you should be given an up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). If the property is in London, our EPC London team can come out and conduct an energy survey of the house. This will give you details about how energy efficient it is and give you some recommendations as to how to improve the energy efficiency of the property.
This is valuable to you, not only as it can show you how ‘green’ your ‘new’ home is (and could be in the future), but also give you a good idea of how high your energy bills are likely to be when you move in and in the future.
Location, Location, Location
It really is true what they say about the location being everything when it comes to the value of your property. After all, you can change almost anything about a property, but you can’t change its location. Whether you fancy the trendy streets of East London, leafy south-western suburbs, or are keen to live right in the middle of the West End, make sure that you do your research into the area.
You should look at whether properties are selling quickly – and for how much! Take into consideration whether it is an up and coming area and what the plans are for the future. Is there a new business park about to be built, or large areas about to be redeveloped, for example.
Details of the Property
You should be automatically told about the property, but make sure that you know certain details such as:
- The age of the property
- Whether it is leasehold or freehold
- How long it has been on the market
- Whether it has changed ownership frequently
You should also speak to the seller and find out whether there are other people who are also interested in the house, as well as try to find out the reason for their moving – this can help you to know whether they might be looking for a quick and safe sale or might hold out for higher offers, for example.
Check that you can afford it
It is important that you are able to afford the property now and when you move in. Before you go and make an offer, check that you can afford it all. Without doing this, you can make an already stressful situation even more stressful!
If you are planning on getting a mortgage you should already have a mortgage agreed in principle before you make an offer, and you should also consider the regular payments which need to be made (council tax, management fees, internet, energy bills, insurance, and mortgage, for example) as well as stamp duty and estate agent fees.
Get Yourself Prepared
When someone is selling their property, there are certain factors that can make some potential buyers more ‘attractive’ than others. It isn’t always about getting the highest price, so if you have anything that might make you more ‘attractive’ as a buyer, make sure that the seller knows about it. Some of the factors include:
- Having your mortgage already agreed
- Having no – or a small chain
- Being organised, clear, reliable and upfront
- And remember, always be friendly – people always prefer to do business with someone they like!
Buying a property – in London or elsewhere can be a big step, and it is important that you know what you are buying before you start offering money to people. This means that you can offer the price that is right for you and that you can avoid any nasty surprises in the future.