If you are currently in the process of purchasing a property or are considering starting the journey, there are a number of questions to ask when buying a house.
If you are at the start of the buying process may seem like a very scary road ahead!
Regardless of if you are a seasoned property tycoon or a first-time buyer, there are simply so many aspects to purchasing a property it is natural to feel overwhelmed.
That is why we are here to help!
This article will explore the key questions to ask when buying a house.
By breaking down the most significant questions into bite-sized chunks, we hope to ease your worries.
Here are 31 questions to ask when buying a house!
1. How long Has the Property Been on Sale?
This is a great first question to ask when considering buying a house.
If the property has been available for more than three months it is important to ask why that is the case!
It is possible there is an issue with the house you haven’t spotted yet.
Surveys will be able to reveal likely issues.
However, it is ideal to establish problems prior to becoming too tied to the house.
2. Is the Property Popular?
It is always a good idea to ask if many people have viewed the property already.
You may also enquire about how many offers have there been.
Whilst estate agents aren’t going to give you an exact number, they can give you a general idea of any offers made.
Ask if these have been close to the asking price.
If they are you might want to consider making a decision quickly.
3. Why is the Property for Sale?
There are various reasons a house is put onto the market.
However, it is key to establish what the reason is.
Perhaps the owners are simply relocating to a new area, or they are upsizing.
But it is important to ask for a few reasons.
Maybe the property is close to a busy road, or it requires lots of maintenance.
It won’t hurt to ask their reasons for leaving.
4. What are the Neighbours Like?
Be sure to enquire about the neighbours
Believe it or not, when selling a property sellers are legally obligated to inform you of any issues they have had with their neighbours.
You may ask how long they have lived in the property.
If it isn’t long there may have been some problems
5. What is the Area Like?
An important question to ask when moving to a completely new location.
Ask your estate agent if they would be happy to live in the area.
Hopefully, they will provide an honest answer.
You can even attempt to ask the seller about the area.
Most importantly, do your own research.
We have various location guides for you to check out.
6. Has the Property Had Work Done?
Enquire about the planning permission for any recent works as well as the consent of the freeholder (where applicable).
If proper permission wasn’t given for any recent work it may cause real issues, including having to tear it down.
7. What is the Water Pressure Like?
There are so many things to consider when relocating.
Whilst water pressure may seem unimportant, it can be a real shock when moving to an area with low water pressure.
Ask about it as well as checking the taps and shower yourself.
8. Is the House Leasehold or Freehold?
This is another important consideration.
A leasehold means you own the property for the length of your lease agreement.
A freeholder of a property owns that building outright.
This includes the land it is built on.
A property listing should display this clearly but it is still worth asking to confirm.
9. How Long is Left on the Lease?
If it is a leasehold property this is key information to find out.
A shorter lease decreases the value of a property!
Extending the lease is a good option in this case.
Talk to the estate agent or solicitor in this situation, they should be able to assist you.
10. Can You Buy the Freehold?
Purchasing the freehold ensures you have increased control over your property.
In this case, you won’t be accountable for the ground rent.
Remember, there could still be service charges for communal areas, be sure to ask about this possibility.
11. What is the Service Charge?
When it comes to leasehold properties you must be aware of further service costs and administration fees.
Service charges should be given to you on the first viewing of the property, but be sure to ask if it isn’t.
Enquire about the details such as if it is charged monthly or annually as well as what it covers.
12. What Direction is the House Facing?
For houses with a garden or terrace, you will need to know that you will get the sun when you want it.
Ask about the direction it faces.
Image waking up to unwanted blinding sunlight in your bedroom on your first morning (we are sure you’ll get curtains installed soon enough!)
13. Have the Sellers Got a Moving Date?
Being in a chain can create issues for buyers.
Any delays or difficulties for the sellers tend to create a sequence of effects for everyone in the chain.
Ideally, the property is chain-free!
If it isn’t being aware of the seller’s situation could put your mind at ease.
14. Is there Evidence of Damp?
Damp can create some real issues when moving to a new house.
Keep an eye out for:
- A damp smell
- Peeling/damaged wallpaper
- Walls that look miscoloured
- Mould spots
- Lots of condensation and water windows and window sills
15. What is Broadband and Mobile Signal Like?
Perhaps the most important consideration with work from home becoming more common!
The top way to check broadband speeds is to look online for broadband providers close to your new address.
You’ll find the providers that have listed their services in that area.
You can then enquire with the local providers to establish what speeds they provide.
16. How New is the Boiler?
The best way to check the age of a boiler is by getting the serial number.
These are each unique to that boiler, meaning establishing how old the boiler is shouldn’t be an issue.
17. Can You Expand the Property?
Some houses have excellent potential but need a little work.
Ask your estate agent and try to gather the details from the owner about any planning permission they asked for before as well as the outcome of that request.
Having issues with planning permission could really limit your options.
18. What Council Tax Band is the Property?
Establishing the council tax band of your property is key for you to be able to understand the amount you will pay in bills each month.
Have a look at the government website, your new postcode should be able to give you an estimate of the council tax costs.
19. How Old is the House?
Establish how old your new property is.
This will provide you with some understanding of how the property has been constructed.
If it is a newer build, the property is likely to have a more energy-efficient nature to it.
With older properties, there could be some problems such as composite building materials.
Properties built at different times throughout history have different issues, so enquire about their age and work from there!
Further Questions to Ask
All of the questions to ask when buying a house found above should put you in an excellent situation and provide you with a good understanding of the property.
However there are some additional questions you can ask different people during the process of buying a house.
Questions to Ask Estate Agents
- How much have properties in the area sold for?
- Is the house located on a flood plain?
- How was the recommended asking price established?
- When will I be able to make an offer if I want to?
- Is there a minimum price the sellers would accept at?
- Is it possible to have a second viewing and when would this be?
Questions to Ask Solicitors
- Who is my point of contact during the house buying process?
- Can I do anything to ensure everything runs as planned?
- How frequently will you update me?
- Have you got any holiday booked? If yes will it overlap and impact me?
- How acquainted are you with sales such as this?
- How long will the conveyancing process take?
- When will the conveyancing fees need to be paid?