How safe is it to use a currency exchange specialist?
Once you have decided where in the world you want to move to, the fun can begin! However, unless you know exactly the property you want to buy, you are going to have to look around a few in order to get an idea of what is available. By viewing many different properties, you will also start to see trends of what is good and bad in a property. There are four different phases that call for different questions; how to view a property, things to ask the seller, things to look out for inside and things to think about.
How to view a property: It is always best not to view a property on your own. Take a friend or family member as a second pair of eyes – they may spot things you miss. Midday is a good time to view a property, when the natural light is most available, and try not to look at a property in the dark, or dusk. Perhaps a second viewing at a different time of day will help you decide. Take your time when looking around and don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if they do sound a bit blunt. The last thing you want is to be pressure by the seller or the estate agent. Take your time and if you are not happy about something, then don’t settle for it.
Things to ask the seller: The seller is the best person to ask questions as they will know the house and the finer details much better than the estate agent. You will need to find out the average monthly/quarterly costs for the house; council tax, water, electricity etc. Also ask them directly why they are moving, and if you get a sense they are not telling the whole story, stay away. Ask about the boiler or central heating, and find out when these utilities were last serviced. A notebook is always handy to help you remember the answers. If the property has a loft or attic, you need to ask if it is insulated, and is so, when? You will need to know if any construction work or amendments have been carried out on the property, and if the property has planning permission for any further work. Also find out about the central heating and how old it is. If the rooms look like they have been recently redecorated, ask why, as it might be that something is hidden underneath.
Things to look out for on the inside: Think about the condition of the property, does it need doing up, and if so, how much will this cost? You may be able to knock this off the asking price. Are the room sizes big enough for what you want, and how much storage space is there? You will need to think practically or you will be disappointed when you move in and can’t fit your furniture in. take note of the amount of power plugs, is there enough? Also look out for any signs of subsidence – cracks in the walls or stairs, and dampness. More importantly, does it feel like it could be your new home, can you envisage yourself living there?
Things to think about: It is not just the property itself that you need to know about. The area surrounding is just as important. If the property is nearby to main roads then can the noise be heard from inside the property? Will it be a problem for you? Are there any airports or flight paths nearby, or railway lines, and will this cause the house to shake at all? What are the surrounding properties like? Nobody wants to live in a nice house, surrounded by ill-kept and rundown properties, so be sure to take a look down the road. Also think of the garden size and how much natural light the house receives. You don’t want to live in a dark gloomy house after all! You should also take into consideration the state of the property and whether it has been looked after.
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