Home buying Advice

Home Buying

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Guide giving advice on buying a home in the UK

Check the house before you buy
What are the home surroundings like?
Is it a flat, or a house?
Estate Agents
Before you buy

First steps to buying a new home

The following (home buying) article is based on an email a friend of mine, Paul Harper, wrote. It is offering specific advice for people looking to buy a new home and aren't really sure where to begin. If you have found a home that you want to buy, click to search for mortgages.

Check the home / house decor before you buy

Have a good look at all the house / home decor and carpets and stuff and if they are really tatty take this into account when you put your offer in and explain why to them. Don't be afraid to look past dirt and tatty walls though. It is amazing (speaking from personal experience here) what a bit of paint can do and a very thorough clean can do to a home. Do look for damp round the windows or condensation. Mould round the putty isn't too much of a problem (can be killed and removed) but on the walls it indicates damp as does bubbly flaky paint coming off the walls.

Have a look at the house / home DIY manual in Smiths (in association with readers digest) this has a very good introduction on what to look for - and probably worth buying as a reference.

Check the home / house surroundings before you buy

If you do really like the place and can see it being your house / home , then you can put an offer in. Structural stuff will come when you get the house surveyed and it does pay to go for a thorough one. Check the postcode out on upmystreet.co.uk. Always go and have a second look if you like it and walk past it at various times of day/night to see if anything nasty becomes apparent. Talk to the owner if they are there and find why they are moving and if the opportunity arises try and talk to the neighbours for a 2nd opinion on the housing area.

The seller will need to make a declaration on if there are any disputes with the house neighbours or any other reasonable reason why you might not want to buy the house / home but check with your solicitor (ask friends at work for recommendations on one or if you family uses one in particular) as well on that front.

Are you buying a flat or house?

If it is a flat, is it free or lease hold? Apparently lease can be better for flats because you can guarantee that your flat won't get damaged by someone else's but again check on the length of lease.

For leasehold homes you may get stung for additional maintainance costs so check and see what they are. For example we own our house freehold but share responsibility for the drive with two other houses. If they both agree to block pave it then we would need to pay for our share. Again all of this will come up in the various searches but by that time you will have incurred costs so best to talk and find them first.

Cut out the estate agent when buying a home / house

See how long the house / home has been on the market for. If they are past what they are contracted to do with the estate agent then suggest to them that they terminate with the estate agent and do a private sale (although they might try and claim off the seller because they introduced you). You could then split the saving between you. We did this although they had already told the estate agent to poke off the week before.

Finally remember that you are not liable to pay the seller ANYTHING until you Exchange contracts for the house / home (deposit paid and can be lost after this point) and Completion (Must pay balance) typically there is a week between exchange and completion. You are within your rights to pull out at any time up till then (our buyers pulled out 5 times once the day before exchange!) although if you do it too many times and get known by the estate agents they will advise the seller not to accept your offer as it becomes risky for them.

By Paul Harper

Looking to buy a home or house? read this advice guide

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"Price is main issue while purchasing the home.So,everyone is serious in that matter."


"I really don't like estate agents! I tried to sell my house last year, they organised a few viewings (badly) and then let me do 90% of the viewings myself!!!! So all they basically offered for a potential 2% fee was to put a picture in the newspaper. Pah!! I went with a private sales website and sold it within about 3 months. There are plenty around and like Auto Trader, I reckon they will eventually take over a lot of sales. www.eye4homes.co.uk are a new one with a cheapo offer on, www.housefinder.co.uk is well established and www.littlehousecompany.co.uk has also been going for years."