House prices have boomed in the latter half of 2020 and early 2021 thanks to the pandemic prompted Stamp Duty holiday – which has just been extended by Chancellor Rishi Sunak. While the key questions of how much you can afford and what type of home you want are pretty obvious, there are some lesser thought about things you should consider asking about before securing your first rung on the property ladder.
Why is the current homeowner moving out?
It may seem invasive, but it’s important to ask the sellers why they are moving out as it could reveal hidden aspects of the property that you may not want.
Sam Mitchell, CEO of online estate agent Strike, told Express.co.uk: “If the seller is in the property, ask them what has motivated the move. This could tell you any shortfalls of the property and area.
“Plus, if the sellers need to move quickly for work or family reasons, this is useful insight to help negotiate a good deal.
“Problematic neighbours can make moving to a new home difficult, so it’s important to ask the seller or any other neighbouring properties about this. Or if you are serious about the property, go ahead and introduce yourself.
“Look out for renovations that require planning permission.
“If you spot anything that may require this, check the seller has the correct permissions.
“Missing paperwork can stall a property purchase, or worse, cause issues with the council in the future.”
How fast are the internet speeds?
No one wants to move into their dream home to find the internet speeds are excruciatingly slow.
This is especially important in the age of working from home, and the unpredictability of the coronavirus situation means this could be ongoing for some time.
Ms Vaidya advises: “It would be a wise move to figure out which broadband provider the current homeowners are with and gauge how the internet is for them, allowing you time to shop around and compare packages and speeds.”
How old is the roof?
Heather Barrigan from MyJobQuote advises if you are buying an older home, you should inquire about the roof’s age and lifespan.
“This will ensure you understand the costs if you have to repair or replace the roof.
“For repairs, you should expect to pay anywhere from £250 to £450.”
However, if you don’t ask you could land yourself with a whopping bill for a roof replacement.
“Costs range from £1,500 to £4,500 for a flat roof replacement, while a pitched roof is typically priced at £3,500 to £7,000.”