24 Jan Key Points to Consider When Buying a Home in the UK
Key Points to Consider When Buying a Home in the UK
When you’ve finally reached the point when you are ready to buy a home in the UK, you are probably so excited that some of the things you should consider are left in the background. After all, you have finally saved enough for the requisite down payment and your finances are in good shape, so you believe getting mortgage approval from a lender is doable.
However, there are important points you should consider before going on a quest for the perfect home in an area where you would like to live. These are usually the points that can hold up the buying process if you are unaware of them and, as a result, they can cause a major delay. Let’s look at the buying process to see if there’s anything you hadn’t considered just yet. If so, then plan for that as well.
Take a Realistic Look at Costs
So, you’ve done the research and you have a fairly good idea of how much lenders expect you to pay down as part of the qualification process. However, that isn’t the only money you will need to pay upfront prior to buying a home.
Have you considered such things as legal fees, broker fees and even what it will cost for removals when moving? Before you know it, you are thousands of pounds over what you had planned for so if it means waiting just a little longer so that you don’t break the proverbial bank, then take a bit longer to be assured you really have enough to get into that dream home, new or previously loved.
What you might do is talk to a financial specialist with a lender to see what they feel you would need to accomplish your move. After all, they do want to underwrite a loan but only if they feel you can pay it. With that in mind, they will help you discover all the other fees you will need to pay upfront and at that point, if you fall just short, they may be able to amend their loan so that there is enough to cover those other costs. It never hurts to try!
When Searching for a Property
Did you know that there are a few surveys that may be required before a lender will approve a mortgage loan? This is something else you may want to talk to the financial specialist about. Tree Surveys are one of those things. You may already be aware of a land survey to ensure that the boundaries are as stated and that the property isn’t infringing on any other landowner’s rights. But tree surveys have been required way back since 1957 and since then there have been other orders such as the Tree Preservation Order as part of the Town and Country Planning Act of 1990, to name just one.
If this is a requirement, and it usually is, contact a reliable and experienced tree surveyor such as treesurvey.co.uk. They can tell you if that report is necessary in England and Wales and can do the surveyal per legal requirements. If you are interested in exactly what they are required to look for, check out their website as the information is detailed and accurate. As for who pays the cost, that’s something else they can help you determine. If the buyer is responsible, make sure to add this fee to your budget as well.
Conduct Your Own Little “Survey”
Typically, if a home is listed for sale, the neighbours are well aware of the fact that ‘strangers’ will be coming in and out of the neighbourhood to view the home. One of the things that many prospective home buyers do is to try contacting nearby homeowners to talk about life in the area. Whilst you have probably already checked out schools, shopping and other necessities, that is only part of what you should consider.
What you might like to do is talk to a few of the neighbours on either side of the home as well as those directly across from the property, if there are any. If you ring the doorbell, introduce yourself and ask if would they mind sharing a bit of what they know about that home and the neighbourhood in general — most will kindly oblige you?
They may know if the current owners have experienced any issues which didn’t come up in the home survey and they can also give you their opinion of the neighbourhood. Is it likely to be noisy at night and have any of the other homes in the area been vandalised? You also might check with police in the area as well because they would surely know how many reports of vandalism there have been.
These are all important things you should know before laying down your life’s savings to get into a home in which you may not be happy. You are, after all, entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of your home. So, do try to find out all you can from people who actually live in the neighbourhood.
It doesn’t hurt to also check out the schools if you have school-age children as well as perhaps popping into any of the shops you may want to use if moving to the area. The home itself is a big part of your buying decision, but these are all things that could interfere with your enjoyment of living in that particular home.
You Have a Right to Know
As a prospective homebuyer, you have a right to know all of the above. You have a legal right to know if any surveys are required and then who is responsible for paying them. Also, you have a right to know what the neighbourhood is like before investing in it. If you find that there are things you absolutely can’t deal with, then your search is apparently not over.
The seller obviously wants to sell the home as does the broker who has it listed. After all, they stand to gain financially so they aren’t likely to tell you about any problematic neighbours or rascals who frequent the neighbourhood for nefarious pursuits. The neighbours, on the other hand, are probably all too anxious to discuss their concerns with anyone who will listen.
The key takeaway here is that it is your right to have all the information you need before signing a contract to buy the home. Again, it is your right so keep that in mind.