Buying your first house can seem like a daunting task from the outside looking in. For first time buyers the process can be stressful but, by asking a few key questions you should be able to quickly identify whether a house is for you or not.
Obviously there are various other factors, and you should always have a clear view of your financial standing alongside your property goals, but we’ve listed some of the questions below to help you along your way.
Buying a House in Northern Ireland
How long has the house been on the market?
The property market can be subject to many different outside influences but if a property has been listed for months with no buyer it could be an indication of a problem.
This problem could simply be that the seller is asking for too much so keep in mind that a lower bid may be accepted.
Has the house had much interest?
Interest/viewings from other parties can be an indication of quality or value but it’s also true that hidden gems pop up in Northern Ireland all the time.
Why are the current owners selling? Have they lived there for long?
Establishing a recent history of a property can be useful when making your decision.
People sell for loads of different reasons. It could be a young family needing more space, someone moving countries for work or an investor changing strategies.
The more you find out, the clearer your picture of the property and surrounding area will become.
Is the property listed? Are there planning restrictions in the area?
This isn’t the most common problem but from time to time you could find that a property you’re interested in is a listed building. As a result any future development will be seriously restricted and closely monitored.
Similarly, area can play a huge role in future development. If, for example, your new property was in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, future development could be heavily curtailed.
What is the area like? What are the local shops etc like?
You can tell a lot about the area surrounding your potential new home simply by observing the local shops, businesses and schools in the nearby area.
What are the rates?
When moving from paying a monthly rent to a mortgage you need to also consider the property rates. These rates pay for local public services and are calculated in accordance to the property value.
What kind of neighbours live nearby?
Everyone knows that neighbours can play a huge part in the happiness of a new home. “Noisy neighbours” are everyone’s worst nightmare so take time to observe and, if you have time, talk to your future neighbours to gain a better understanding of the area.
What is the natural light like? Which way does the property face?
Natural light can be a huge bonus in a property for loads of different reasons so take time to see just how much you’ll get.
It’s also important to note which way the property faces as this will determine sunny mornings or summer nights on the patio etc…
Do you need to get a survey?
Depending on your property buying experience it might be beneficial to get a separate, uninfluenced, property survey to ensure peace of mind.
What are other similar properties listed for?
If you’re ensure about the listed price you could check out other for sale properties in the area to compare and contrast.
How energy efficient is the property?
By viewing the property’s Northern Ireland Energy Performance Certificate you should gain a good understanding of how energy efficient the property is. This can be impacted by multiple factors including outside walls, insulation, doors and windows.
How old is the property? Has any work been done?
If it’s a new build then the information will most likely be readily available but for older properties it’s well worth knowing.
With all that in mind you should now be ready to view your first properties. You can check out our Northern Ireland property listings here or, if you have specific questions, contact a member of our team for a quick chat about what’s going to work for you!