Top 9 Things to Consider When Searching for Your New Home

Top 9 Things to Consider When Searching for Your New Home

Buying a new home is serious business; it’s likely to be one of the most expensive investments you’ll make in your life so we know that you need to get it right. However, whilst you can get blissfully caught up in house-hunting mode, there are several things that you need to make sure you’re considering when searching for your new home.

We see several of the following points forgotten about by people looking to buy homes so we’ve created this blog post just for you, to make sure you’ve thought through everything you need to…

  1. Looking at properties outside of your price range
    If you’re going to look at properties that are skirting around the top end of your budget, make sure you know just how flexible your budget can be. You’ll feel much more comfortable stretching your budget to get that dream house if you know that you really are able to afford it.
  2. Factor in extra charges
    Stamp duty, agents’ costs and other extras are often forgotten when you set your price limit for your new home. Forgetting to do so can end in tears as estate agents all we want is for you to find your new home without breaking your bank. Budget in the extra charges that can’t be avoided and you’ll be much happier knowing there aren’t any extra costs to fork out for once you’ve found your new home.
  3. Knowing geographically the area you want to live in
    Most people think about this anyway but we do get the occasional situation where the buyers aren’t exactly sure where to start looking. Start with the town of your choice and (with the help of your estate agent) explore what the local area has to offer property-wise. If you have children and you’re thinking about schools, pick a school that you’d like them to attend and start your search within the catchment area.
  4. Try not to assume that there’s something wrong with a property that hasn’t sold for 3+ months
    This happens a lot more than you’d think. Just because a property has been on the market for a little longer than usual doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong with it; the house just hasn’t been shown to the right buyers. If a property has been on the market for a while then the owner may be open to offers and you could pick up a bargain!
  5. The impact of market conditions on property prices
    There are times when it’s important to move quickly and other times when you can safely dawdle over your choice. Paying attention to the market conditions will help you predict what type of move you’ll have, allowing you to plan ahead accordingly.
  6. Being open-minded with your first impressions on the area and property
    Buying your new home is a big decision and it’s important to not make any rushed decisions about particular areas and the interior based on your first impression. It’s important to be able to imagine what living in a particular property would be like, and that means getting to know the area too. Visit the property and the area at different times of the day, experience the local pubs and restaurants and learn about the public transport available; all of this can make a difference in helping you decide if this is the right property for you.
    You might look at pictures of a potential property and see bold colours on the walls and think it’s a lot of work. If everything else is right with the property, then it’s worth the time and effort involved to put your own personal stamp on the property, should you buy it. Of all the things that could potentially be wrong with a property, the colour of the walls is such a minor detail in comparison; try and learn to look passed it.
  7. Don’t rely solely on photographs
    They’re important but nothing beats a visit to the property itself. Visit open days, chat to the owners and neighbours (and speak to the locals in the pub) for extra insights about the area and the property itself.
  8. Don’t expect to find a home that ticks all the boxes – be prepared to compromise
    There is no such thing as the ultimate, perfect property – especially if you’re working with a tight budget. You might get close with a bit of time, research and perseverance but you can’t expect to find a property that ticks all the boxes. Consider learning to see the potential a property has to offer, you should learn to look past what you can currently see and instead try to envisage the house with your things with your own style.
  9. Drive by’s
    Ensure to carry out drive by’s on the property you like at different times of the day and on different days.  This will give you an impression of what the area is like before moving in.
    The important thing to remember when house-hunting is to be open-minded about the properties you’re interested in (even if there isn’t your dream bay window in the lounge) because if you’re too strict and rigid about what you want, you’ll be stuck looking for your new home for a long time. Your estate agents will try their best to help you find what you want so listen to their ideas and thoughts, and your new home might be found sooner than you think!

If you’ve got a particular vision of your next home, get in touch and talk to us about it and we’ll see how we can best help you. However, if you’re not ready to commit to looking at new homes yet but you know it’s something the near future has in store, pop over to Facebook and like our page to keep yourself updated with the latest property news.

New Legislation for Landlords assessing the risk of Legionnaires’ Disease

What is Legionnaire’s Disease?

Legionnaires’ Disease is a pneumonia like illness caused by the Legionella bacteria and can be fatal. The infection is caused by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated by the bacteria. The disease cannot be passed from one person to another. Legionella bacteria are found in the natural environment and may contaminate and grow in water systems, including domestic hot and cold water systems. They survive low temperatures and thrive at temperatures between 20 – 45°C if the conditions are right. They are killed by high temperatures at 60°C or above.

New legislation for Legionnaire’s

Recent legislation has made landlords responsible persons for assessing the risk of Legionnaires’ Disease at their let properties.

In order to comply with the legislation a Legionnaires’ Disease Risk Assessment should be completed at their properties. We can arrange for this assessment to be carried out on our managed properties at a cost, charged by the assessor, of £25 + VAT.

Following this there is an annual requirement to review the assessment which we can do at a property inspection provided no changes have been made to the water and heating system in the year.

From 1st October 2015 a smoke alarm must be equipped on each storey of the premises on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation. Also, a carbon monoxide alarm is equipped in any room of the premises which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance or Gas fuelled fire or boiler. We can arrange for this for you for the cost of the alarm and £20 + VAT fitting.  If you require any assistance with the above please do not hesitate to contact us.

Landlords of residential accommodation have responsibilities for combating Legionnaires’ Disease. Health and safety legislation requires that landlords carry out risk assessments for the Legionella bacteria which cause Legionnaires’ Disease and thereafter maintain control measures to minimise the risk.

Most rented premises will be low risk but it is important that risk assessments are carried out and control measures introduced. This note is intended to give a brief guide as to what you, as the landlord should do.

Risk assessments

Landlords are under a duty to ensure that the risk of exposure to tenants, residents and visitors by Legionella is properly assessed and controlled. Normally there is no reason why the landlord should not carry out this risk assessment himself/herself so long as they are competent. Usually there will be no need to employ a consultant.

The assessment should be a straight forward simple exercise in ordinary domestic premises. For most residential settings the risk assessment may well show the risks are low so long as simple control measures referred to in the next section are followed. This will apply to houses or flats with small domestic type water systems where the water turnover is high.

Provided the risk assessment shows that the risks are insignificant and the control measures are being properly managed no further action would be necessary. It is important, however, to keep the assessment under review periodically in case anything changes to the system.

If you have any questions about Legionella then please don’t hesitate to contact us.