Buying a Home

Buying a home is likely to be the most important and expensive purchases you are likely to make. So it is very important that you get right otherwise your mistake may prove costly.


What to consider

When considering to buy a property you have make some basic decisions for example;

Obviously we cannot make these decisions for you but what we can do is give some thought and ideas to each of these areas which may help to guide your thought and decision making process.

The size of the accommodation will obviously be influenced by the function of how much you can afford and what its conditions is. Initially there may be the requirement for one or two people to occupy the property so one bedroom may be all you will need. But in the future you may wish to expand as the family grows in numbers.

Buy Small and Grow

If your budget is limited you may want to consider a property which can be extended in the future ether by adding an extension to the elevations of the building or even building into the roof space.

Building extensions cost around £100 per square foot of accommodation. Any extension will be subject to planning consent and Building Control approval. The main advantage can be that with the right enhancement to a property you can create added value, phase your expenditure and build what you need when you need it.

Take all the costs into account

In working out how much you can afford to spend on a property you need to consider if you need to allow for renovation costs in addition to the normal Solicitors, Surveyors, stamp duty and Building Society fees. It is easy to get fully committed to just buying the property and if there is no money left for modifications or furnishings life can be pretty miserable.


Location can be important. If you need to be near public transport you may decide that you don’t need a car for a few years because local transport is easier. Alternatively if your chosen location is more remote then it is essential you have factored this in together with space to keep a car or motor bicycle. Also the area is very important and may affect the sale in the future. For example being near a public house or a school may suit some but may put others off the property.

Will improvement add value

The style of property and the surrounding homes may limit the type of enhancement that will gain value. Some times it is better to buy a house needing renovation located in an expensive area. Your improvements will add value rather than vastly improving a property which looks uncomfortable in it’s surrounding area.

Local knowledge goes a long way

Local knowledge is important. Ask around and you will soon find out if the are you are considering is popular or not. Check with the Local Council and ask to see any plans that are in store for the area. They may be planning some big improvements that will enhance the value of the property. On the other hand you may find out that property is cheap because they are planning a local tip or new road which may reduce the value of the property or make it difficult to sell. Be cautious if there is an open field adjacent. Developers are very clever at applying for planning consent and then not starting building for several years.

Getting the price right

Once you have found the property you like you need to decide if the price is right. Always offer a discount on the asking price unless you are really convinced that the price is a bargain. Remember that if the seller has used an Estate Agent then they would have valued the property with a margin to reduce if an offer is made.

Finding the problems

You may need to get a Surveyors report to see if there are some defects on the property and you can always use this the negotiate a reduction if remedial work is required. We would stress that even Surveyors sometimes get it wrong or they word their report in such away that it would be difficult to challenge if they made a mistake. Even if you can sue it does not help you much if you have a problem.

Check List

Listed below are some items that are worth checking though yourself. Even if you are not an expert a careful look at everything can reveal a lot.

The above list is not all the items to check but it is a good start. It does not necessarily mean that you avoid the property if you find some defects but you need to seek further advice on what you have found from an expert. Get a quotation to put the defect right. Once a Contractor has to put it in writing it usually flushes out what the real remedial cost are.

Is there a better property?

To check if the price of the property is right look to other Estate Agents in the area and see what is on offer. There are also web sites with excellent data bases on property prices. Check with Insurance Companies and ask for a quotation on home insurance they have excellent data bases linked back to postal codes their premium may reflect if there are problems the area.

Why is the owner selling

Ask the owner why they are selling their property and watch their reaction.

When making an offer you must also consider if you have a property to sell. If you are in a position where you are a first time buyer with a mortgage all agreed then you are in a strong position to reduce your offer if the seller wants a quick sell.


Getting the right solicitor or conveyancer is a personal choice and its important you chose the right one for you. It maybe cheaper, quicker and easier to use an online conveyancer [more on conveyancing].

Solicitors are not always the most efficient people. So, again the onus is on you to monitor progress and keep the pressure on to ensure that you achieve your goal and purchase your property with no major problems.