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Nine questions first time home buyers should ask to save up to £20,676

Hidden expenses can turn a dream purchase into a financial nightmare but how can you avoid these pitfalls?

Top tips on how buyers can avoid spending as much as £20,676 on dealing with unexpected issues have been identified by online mortgage brokers, Mojo Mortgages.

Top tips for first-time buyers:

What is the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating? Potential unexpected cost: £7,499

While the property listing often includes an Energy Performance Certificate rating, it’s important to verify this. The EPC rating provides valuable insights into the energy efficiency of a property, helping you anticipate monthly energy costs more accurately. Only 43 percent of homeowners have an EPC banding of C and above, which is considered efficient. Government data shows that an EPC rating of C increases the property‘s value by an average of 10 percent.

How old is the boiler, and when was it last serviced? Potential unexpected cost: £4,500
Boilers typically account for around 60 percent of your heating bills but become more prone to breakdowns and malfunctions as they age, so it’s important to know its age before making an offer on a house.
On average, a boiler lasts between 10 and 15 years depending on how well it’s maintained. Therefore, if the boiler in the house you’re considering buying is nearing this age, it may be wise to budget for a replacement.

The average boiler could cost up to £4,500, making it a significant expense.

Do your windows suffer from condensation? Potential unexpected cost: £4,000
Condensation on windows is often an indicator of larger underlying issues in the home that may require attention and investment. It can be a symptom of problems like poor insulation, inadequate ventilation, or excessive indoor moisture.
Ignoring these root causes and only treating the condensation superficially could lead to more serious and costly problems down the line.

If the underlying issues are not resolved, the windows themselves may eventually need to be replaced, which can cost an average of £4,000.

Are you leaving the carpet? Potential unexpected cost: £2,200
While the appearance of the carpet plays a significant role in the overall aesthetics of a home, it’s important to note that in some cases, the current owner may intend to take the carpet with them upon selling.

Replacing the carpet in an entire house can come with an average price tag of £2,200.

Are you leaving your blinds? Potential unexpected cost: £1,100
Considering that the average house has 10 windows, dressing them in the most popular blind style, such as Venetian blinds, can cost an average of £1,100. Therefore, it’s important to ask the current homeowner if they’ll be leaving the blinds before proceeding with an offer.

Is the house damp-proofed? Potential unexpected cost: £800
Not only can dampness damage brickwork, plaster and other materials, but it can wreak havoc on the structural integrity of a building, potentially causing a collapse of the building.

Should you find damp-related issues once you move in, the average cost of a damp-proof course is around £800.

Is the water pressure powerful? Potential unexpected cost: £370
For many people, strong water pressure is a non-negotiable feature when buying a property. Adequate water pressure can significantly improve daily tasks such as showering, laundry and washing dishes.

A leaky pipe can incur an average repair cost of £370, which is why it’s worth asking (and testing) out the water pressure before making an offer.

Does the house require a parking permit? Potential unexpected cost: £107
Overlooking the need for a parking permit could also come with an unexpected cost.

On average, a residential parking permit costs around £107 per year. Therefore, when viewing a property to make an offer, it’s important to ask whether a permit is required for parking and its associated cost.

How fast is the internet? Potential unexpected cost: £100
Today, with many people working remotely and streaming television content, having fast and stable internet is more of a necessity than a luxury. Ideally, the internet speed should meet or exceed 200 Mbps, or even up to 5,000 Mbps if you have a fibre-optic connection.
However, if the internet speeds at the property are slower than this, you may need to invest in a third-party WiFi booster.

These boosters can enhance signal strength and coverage, ensuring a more consistent and faster connection throughout your home. Prices for advanced boosters typically range up to £100.


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