Before going to see a house, spend some time getting to know the area by doing some research online. What are the trains and local schools like? Does the area feel safe? Doing this research is especially useful if the property isn’t nearby as it will save you time and money going to see a house in an area which you don’t like.
Visit the house in person multiple times, varying the day and time that you go so you can get a feel for it. If it’s practical to do, it’s a good idea to try and stay nearby for a few nights so you can pick up on anything that might put you off buying the property. Are there noisy neighbours? Is the road busy at night? Try exploring the area at night too so you can get an accurate read of the area - it’s not ideal if you feel uncomfortable or worried about going outside at night.
Decide what type of mortgage you want and how long you want to spend paying it off. A good mortgage advisor will help provide you with the information and help you need. Give yourself room to manoeuvre but don’t go over your set budget, be strict with yourself! If you think you’ve found your perfect home and want to make an offer, look online for how much other properties in the area have sold for recently so you don’t offer more than it is worth.
The mortgage lenders will do a property report and valuation on the house, but this may not be sufficient for finding any structural or hidden problems the property may have. It might be a good idea to get an independent survey carried out, especially for older or more unusual properties. This will help to highlight any major faults the property has which may be expensive in the future, like damp or faulty foundations.
Get to know the seller. This will help you stay up to date on any progress and you'll be the first to know about any changes. Speak to the seller about completing on the property using Shieldpay – we’ve powered the UK’s first fully digital real estate transaction and we give both buyer and seller full transparency over the status of the transaction at any point in time - no need to chase your bank or solicitor, you see what they see.
Shieldpay protects both buyer and seller in any transaction so that you can deal with anyone, anywhere with total confidence.
How do we do it? We verify the identity of both sides, funds are held securely in the Shieldpay vault and only released when both sides agree they’re happy. If anything doesn’t go to plan, we help out with any disputes!
Find out more about Shieldpay, or let us know your thoughts by leaving us a comment or chatting to us on Twitter, we'd love to hear from you! 😉