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Last updated: 19/04/2023

What happens when you view a house and fall in love with it? Before you rush to make an offer, ask some key questions to get as much information as you can and make an informed decision.

How long has it been on the market?

If the house has been on the market for a while, there could be a reason. How many viewings and offers has it had?

Why is the current owner selling?

Don’t be afraid to ask this question; the answer might reveal something important about the property or location. While you’re having this conversation, find out if there is a chain.

How old are the windows?

Replacing windows can be expensive, so it would be an unpleasant surprise to find out you need to fork out for new windows once you’ve moved into your new home. Ask the question upfront so you can make an informed decision.

Where can I park?

Find out whether you could safely park your car without having to walk miles to get to your front door. If you need a permit, find out how much it’s likely to cost, and how long it’ll take to be active.

What's the internet like?

Whether you’re streaming shows or working from home, slow internet can be frustrating. Check whether the area has high-speed fibre broadband. And while you’re at it, find out if there’s good coverage for your mobile network.

Does the property need updating?

Some renovations can be expensive. If the property needs any work, consider getting quotes from tradespeople so you can factor any costs into your overall budget.

Is there enough space?

Consider whether the rooms are big enough for you and your furniture. While you’re at it, what’s the storage space like?

How old is the boiler?

And when was the boiler last serviced? Boilers can be expensive to replace and old ones can be very inefficient. If the boiler looks like it’s on its last legs, you may have to budget for a replacement.

Is it insulated and are the windows double glazed?

These may seem like small details, but insulation and double-glazing can have a real impact on your energy bills and overall comfort.

Are there any major cracks in the walls, or damp?

Cracked walls and evidence of damp can be signs of bigger problems down the line. While you’re digging on this one, ask whether there has been subsidence too. Subsidence could mean trouble selling the house further down the line, or may mean you struggle to secure a mortgage for the property.

What's nearby?

This is a very personal one and depends on what’s important to you. Whether it’s being close to the local pub, being able to walk to the gym, being near to a school, or being within easy distance of local transport links, or even what shops are nearby – think about what’s nearby and how your everyday life would look living in this property.

What's included in the sale?

Don’t assume that a garden shed, oven, or even the curtains are part of the price. It’s important to ask.

What are the neighbours like?

Finding out what the sellers think of their neighbours can help you visualise what it’ll be like to live in this house. As well as asking the question, you might want to spend time getting a feel for the area yourself: take a walk round to get a feel for the place. 

Are there plans for development nearby?

You want to know if there is a planning application for a new housing development that would change the view or impact things like traffic or parking. Your solicitor should also research this if you decide to make a move on buying the property.


And don’t forget to ask yourself ‘can I see myself living here?’ Imagine coming back to this house after a long day. Visualise popping the kettle on and putting your feet up. Does it feel like home? If your answer is yes – congratulations! You may be ready to make an offer


What next?

  • Use our deposit calculator to work out how to save a deposit for your first home.
  • Download our free First Home Steps app for a pocket-guide to budgeting, planning, saving, and buying your first place.
  • Explore more blogs in our First Time Buyers hub.

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