Buying and moving to a new house can be stressful but it can also be exciting, the start of a new chapter, the beginning of independence or maybe the sign of a family extending. Whatever the reason for your house move you should always remember that there is more to finding the perfect home than the location and the decor. There are questions that we should ask but often forget, things we should check that we don’t always remember until it is too late and bits of vital information that a seller won’t give willingly unless pushed. So, if you are in the midst of a house purchase or are starting to think about buying a new pad then make sure you consider the below factors in addition to your property viewing and surveys just in case.
Living next door to the neighbours from hell can absolutely ruin your home life and no house seller is going to openly offer up this information, especially if that is the reason why they are moving in the first place. So ask them out right who lives where and what they are like. You may find they say single people, older people or families and it really depends on what you want and don’t want. For example if you don’t have kids you may prefer not to live next to a family with small children but if you do then you may be excited at the prospect of having similar aged children next door for yours to play with, if you like early nights then living next door to older teenagers who go out at weekends may be your worse nightmare, either way always find out who lives where.
Don’t be afraid to ask if they get on with the neighbours either, their face will probably tell you all need to know. If you get the impression it might not be neighbourly love then drive past at different times of the day. Does it look like next door leave their dog outside all day during the week, are there loads of people coming and going on the weekends, get a feel for how they interact as a street and see if you feel you would fit in.
Another question that is great for giving you an insight in to the neighbourly relationship is to ask about garden boundaries and fencing. Who looks after which side and do both sides look well maintained. If the seller admits to having maintained both sides, why? If their side is maintained and the other isn’t, again why? This could give you an insight in to what to expect. Of course neighbours come and go so it shouldn’t be the main factor but it should definitely be a factor as you may have to live next door to them for years to come.
2. Central heating
When viewing a house we can often take the heating systems for granted and most of the time we can physically see the radiators and ascertain whether they look new or old but the chances are that on a 10-15 minute view you won’t necessarily know if they work, especially if you are viewing in the summer. Therefor is is important to ask them about their gas central heating, How old is it? When was it last serviced? Have they had to fix or replace any of it since it was installed. This will give you a good indication as to whether you will need to factor in a new boiler or central heating in to your offer or moving costs.
3. Catchment area for schools
If you are moving with children chances are you will already know the catchment area you want to move to in order to secure places at the primary school or high school of your choice. However, if you are moving without children this is still something to consider.
If you are moving without children but are hopeful you will one day have a family then look at the nearby schools, would you be able to get your child there? Would you want them to attend that school? School reports can change year to year but it still important to be mindful, especially if you will have certain criteria such as a particular religious school, same sex school or Montessori.
In a similar fashion if you are moving without children and have no plans to have any you may also want to look at where the local schools are. Will you be living on the walk way to a primary school and if so will this footfall be a problem for you at 9 and 3 during the week? Will you be living on a street where parents will be parking twice a day for drop off and pick ups and again will you be at home and will this be an issue? Is there a bus stop outside your house for the high school? All the things that are beneficial to parents can be huge draw backs for non parents so be sure to look in to the schools and the routes to those schools regardless of our situation.
When you arrive at a house look at the parking, not just for the house you are buying but also for the other houses on the streets. Is it difficult to park or does it look empty? Does the house come with a designed spot, garage or drive way or is it a free for all? Ho may cars will you and your family have and is there room? It is also worth driving past the house you are interested in again in the evenings and at a weekend to see if parking looks any more difficult, you might find that the location of your street means that it is ideal for people nipping to certain shops or attractions, the local school or community field for Sunday football matches. Not being able to park outside your own house may be a real problem and one you don’t notice on a mid week viewing, so be sure to look into it if you do have a car.
5. Local services
Always ask about the local services that you currently use or know you will want and don’t just assume that they will exist in the new area. Foe example will you want a window cleaner, a bin cleaner, dog walke or babysitting service? Is it easy enough to get a taxi where you are or does the location mean the prices are higher and waiting time longer? Are the local buses good and reliable with varied routes or do you need a car. Are there any local shops, a doctors or a dentist? Make sure you document you needs and ensure the new area can meet them and if not consider compromises before finding yourself in a beautiful house in th country only to be trapped because the transport links are practically non existent.
If you are moving house soon I hope these pointers will help.
(This is a sponsored post).