Questions to ask before buying a house

Questions to ask before buying a house

You’ve just stepped through the front door and it's perfect.

Last updated: 07/04/2021

Is this the end of your house hunt and time to buy your first home? Perhaps. But before you even think about making an offer, be sure to get the answers to some crucial questions to make sure there are no unpleasant surprises in store for you.

Below are some questions for shrewd first time buyers.

Some of them will be for the estate agent or seller to answer, while others you can ponder or research yourself. The trick is to never feel embarrassed to ask a question, however silly you may feel.

How long has it been on the market?

If it has been on for a long time, then find out how many viewings and offers it’s had.

How long have they lived there and why are they selling?

Don’t be afraid to ask this question, as their 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 the windows can be a big expense, one that you wouldn’t want soon after moving in.

What’s parking like?

Find out whether you could safely park your car, without having to walk miles to get to your front door.

What’s the internet like?

Whether you’re streaming shows or working from home, slow internet is a drag.

Does the property require updating?

Some jobs can be expensive, so consider getting quotes from tradespeople and factoring these into your budget.

Is there enough space?

Consider whether the rooms are big enough for you and your furniture, and whether there’s enough storage space.

How old is the boiler and when was it last serviced?

Boilers are expensive to replace and old ones can be very inefficient.

Is it insulated and are the windows double-glazed?

These may seem like small details, but can affect your energy bills and comfort.

Are there any major cracks in the walls or damp?

This could be the sign of bigger problems down the line. While you’re digging on this one, ask whether there has been subsidence too.

Is the property close to the things that matter to you?

That might range from bars and a gym to the right school or train station.

What’s included in the sale?

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

What are the neighbours like; are they noisy?

As well as asking this question, ideally you could spend a bit of time getting a feel for the immediate area: have a walk round to find out if it’s friendly and well-looked after.

Are there plans for development near the property?

You want to know if there is a planning application for a new housing development that would change the view or impact traffic or parking, for example.

Could you see yourself living there?

Imagine coming back to the house after a long day at work and putting your feet up; would it feel like home?

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When to ask

You might want to find the answers to some of these questions on a second viewing, perhaps taking someone else along with you for a second pair of eyes.

Either way, it’s well worth taking your time to find out as much as you can about the property and surrounding area. That way, if you do put in an offer, you can do so in the knowledge that you truly know what you’re getting for your money.

Click on the sections below to explore what you need to know at each stage of your home buying journey:

Couple looking outside

Buying >

Woman moving with the help of friends

Moving >

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