If you have made the exciting decision to sell up and move home, most experts agree that spring is the best time to do so – houses sell quicker, and there are usually more properties available on the market.
So, given there’s no time like the present, here are our top tips for when you’re on the hunt for a new property.
Fastest selling month
Statistics show that it takes an average of 57 days* to sell a property that’s first listed in March, faster than any other month – October’s the slowest, at 79 days.
Stamp duty holiday extension
The government’s decision to extend the current stamp duty holiday in England and Northern Ireland might also make now the perfect time to buy.
The extension means that, if you’re planning to buy a home up to the value of £500,000, you won’t have to pay stamp duty – a potential saving of up to £15,000 for some. To qualify, you will need to complete the purchase of your new property before the 30th of June.
Keeping your buying wits about you
There are several things to consider and look out for when you go to view a property – especially before making an offer.
Here are our top tips:
- Take pictures and videos – if you plan on viewing several properties, having a visual reminder of the pros and cons can be a great help when it comes to decision making.
- Damp – keep an eye out for discoloured walls, peeling wallpaper, and mould growth around windows and ceilings. A property suffering from damp is also likely to have a distinct musty smell.
- Heating and electrics – these are two of the most common things to ask about, as replacing them could cost a lot of money. How old is the boiler? Is there a service history? Are radiators in good working order? These are all questions you should consider asking.
- Large cracks in walls can be a tell-tale sign of ‘subsidence’ or other structural issues, which can be very costly to put right and often require specialist home insurance.
- Windows and doors – do the doors and windows look straight? Open and close them a few times and closely inspect the frames. If they jam, it could be another sign a building has ‘moved’, or the windows are dated and need replacing.
- Roofs – problems with roofs are quite common, especially in older homes. Look for sagging rooflines, missing tiles and cracks in joining walls.
- Drainage – don’t forget to check that all taps and toilets are in good working order – if sink water and toilets slowly empty, it could be a sign there’s an on-going problem with internal plumbing.
- Flooding – find out if the property you are viewing is at risk of flooding using the following link: https://www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk. The Environment Agency also provide a more detailed, address-specific service.
- Talk to the neighbours – it’s perfectly acceptable to be a little nosy, especially if this is where you plan on living for the next few years. Talking to people who live nearby can be very revealing – it’s a great way of getting the inside scoop on the street and area.
- Insulation – the heating costs of a home can vary hugely depending on how good the insulation is. Does the property have cavity-wall insulation? Are the windows double-glazed?
- Go back – always revisit a property for a second viewing – this provides the perfect opportunity to ask any questions you may have forgotten to ask initially. It also allows you the chance to take a look at things in a bit more detail – perhaps you will spot something you missed at first glance!
- Surveys – you get what you pay for – a full structural survey might be the most expensive, but it is also the most comprehensive and could save you time, money, and stress further down the line.
Insuring your home
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To get a quote please visit: https://insurance.policyexpert.co.uk/home