Important things to look for when buying a house

Are you in the hunt for a house? Booking viewings and scoping out new areas to live is an exciting process, but it’s important not to get too carried away by your emotions. Unless you’re downsizing, a new home is likely to be the biggest purchase of your life – and overlooking flaws could come back to bite you later down the line.

Read five key factors to assess before buying a property.


The competitive nature of the current UK housing market has been widely publicised, with one-third of homes going for above the asking price in 2021. But you wouldn’t throw thousands of pounds away in other areas of life – so why do it now?

Viewing multiple types and sizes of properties in different areas will help you get a feel for what represents value and what feels like a stretch. Bear in mind that if you do pay over the asking price, your mortgage provider may ask you to find the extra funds.

Potential improvements

Another way to determine value is to assess what room there is for you to make improvements. Converting a cellar could help you get up to 30% more should you sell in future, while loft and garage conversions can also add significant value. Or is there scope to extend? Improving a property’s heating and energy efficiency is another good opportunity. Combi boilers are an efficient and space-saving option if the existing system is outdated.

Necessary repairs

While you might be prepared to overlook certain faults to secure the property of your dreams, you’ll need to factor in repairs to your moving costs. Issues like damp and structural damage will need taking care of right away – and they might not come cheap.

Ordering a survey after having an offer accepted will help uncover issues that your untrained eye might not pick up – or that the seller doesn’t immediately disclose. Its within your rights to pull out if you don’t like what you find.

Nearby amenities

You can almost always improve a property – but you can’t change the area it’s in. Location is one of the most significant factors behind property value, so if a house seems like a bargain, the surrounding area could well be dragging it down.

Take a walk or drive around and assess what amenities are nearby, like shops, cafes and gyms. You can also find free information on local crime rates and school ratings.


A house might be perfect for your needs right now – but what about in two-, five- or ten-years’ time? Consider whether you might outgrow a property before you intend to based on its room sizes and number of rooms.

Home offices are becoming increasingly essential, for example, so think about your professional needs as well as any future family plans.

Buying a house could be one of the best things you ever do. Assess these five factors to give yourself extra confidence in your decision.

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