Buying a house is possibly the biggest purchasing decision of your life and therefore, you need to get it right. When looking to buy a house in Northern Ireland, here are some tips that may prove to be helpful.
For any property buying decision, the biggest factor is undoubtedly your finances. Sometimes your budget lets you choose from a small house in a popular or a desirable area or a bigger house in a somewhat less popular area. Here, you need to take a few things under consideration; the property in the desirable area can prove to be better from an investment point of view since it has higher value. It is good to choose an up and coming area when the value of property is concerned.
When looking at properties it is important to take into account the factors that are important to you. Do you need to be close to schools and shops? Will you be relying on public transport? Look at other amenities too such as restaurants and leisure centres. Belfast estate agents know the area well and should be able to help narrow down your choice.
Old Or New?
Both have their advantages. A newer property will need fewer repairs but you may well have extra upfront costs to buy carpets or decorate before you can move in. On the other hand an older property will be ready for you to move straight in, however, you might find you need a new kitchen or bathroom or the property needs to be rewired, all of which represents extra expense. Renovating a property always costs more than you think. Again Belfast estate agents should have a good range of properties on offer.
Finding A Property
Now you know what you are looking for you are ready to begin your property search. Start by visiting estate agents in your chosen area, talking to them will help you get a feel for what is available and for the state of the local market. Take a look at a number of houses so you have a good basis for comparison and can make an informed choice. Take these points into account when viewing:
- – How long has it been on the market? More than a few months might suggest there is a problem, it is overpriced or there is some underlying defect
- – If you are interested in a property visit it at least twice at different times of day
- – Write a list of your plus and minus points
- – Ask the seller how long they have lived there and why they are moving
- – Find out if there is a chain
- – Ask about other costs, the rates for example and the average fuel bills
- – Find out what fixtures and fittings, carpets, curtains, etc are included with the property
Before You Buy
Of course before you buy a property you will need a survey. A valuation survey will be required by your mortgage lender but on older properties you may also want to have a full structural survey. If the survey reveals problems you may take it as a cue to walk away or you could use the information to try to negotiate a lower price.
Don’t be afraid to take your time over the buying process. This is a big decision and one you need to get right.
Alice Aires is a freelance writer specialising in the property market and reckons that for the first time buyer NI has plenty of opportunities to offer.