I cannot wait for the day I begin a blog post with ‘I’VE BOUGHT A HOUSE’. However today is not one of those days. In fact today is a day where I am absolutely fed up with looking at houses, putting an offer down on a house and having someone place a higher one. Can you not?
Think I was a bit silly to think I could start the buying a house process and actually buy a house in a short period of time. Oh hell no. But at least with looking at a bajillion houses and having pointless calls to estate agents, I have a few things to share when considering buying a house. I’m still a baby in terms of purchasing a house, I’ve only looked at around 20, seen 4 of those for second and third viewings, and placed an offer on a house. But I have spent around 234874 hours searching Right Move and Zoopla and I think if I have to look at one more floor plan or street view I might scream.
Heck I’ve screamed a lot already..
1. How much work and money will it really take?
It’s so easy to look at a relatively cheaper house and think, ‘well we can just do it up’. In Bristol the average house price I am looking at is between £220k and £250k and no, there isn’t anything cheaper that doesn’t involve much work. However I keep seeing really disgusting houses priced at £180k and I think ‘well maybe we can do it up’. But with what money? New kitchen appliances will cost over £1k, then paint and new carpets and a bed! Let alone ‘doing up’ the house.
2. Can you really deal with X?
Obviously this can be twisted into any direction. I’m not really sure why but so many houses I look at in Bristol have the bathroom downstairs. Now previously I think ‘I can deal with that’. But the more I think about it the less I think I can. Imagine having friends or family round, I’d have to leave my bedroom, go downstairs, through the living room, through the kitchen and then into the bathroom. Can I really live with that. Imagine being ill and making that trek. So no, I really can’t deal with that even if it means going back to looking at more houses… again.
3. What is the area like?
Yes, you might be viewing the house at 5pm on a Tuesday evening… but what is the area like at 1am on a Sunday morning? Before I put an offer down on the first house, I went around at 5pm on a Wednesday, 7pm & 9pm on a Friday night, Saturday morning at 10am and Sunday morning at 1am. I also went to the nearby restaurants and cinema to check out what the area was like over a variety of times.
4. Do you really like it or do you just want to move out?
I nearly coerced Charlie into placing an offer down on a house we had seen a few times, yes it was small but bloody hell I wanted to move out. Thankfully I came to my senses and waited. But all I can think is ‘but we could be living in that place now’. I’m glad I’m waiting now and didn’t just rush into it. It’s hard because I’m thinking ‘well is anything else going to come up?’.
5. Alternative ways to get to work?
As I drive and own my car, I am always going to drive to and from work as there is free parking at my office. However my Mum asked me the question ‘but what if your car is in the garage or breaks down’. Good question Mum. One of the houses I was looking at was a 2 hour walk or 3 hour bus/train journey as the house wasn’t near any easy transport routes. Which also means if I want to get into town it’s a struggle.
6. What are the neighbours like?
No house is worth very loud or angry neighbours. Before I put an offer down on a house I knocked on 3 doors nearby to ask what the neighbourhood is like but also if they like where they live. People who aren’t selling the house are less likely to lie to you. I even asked a man who’s daughter lived nearby whether she felt safe or had any issues with where she lived.
7. Is the area safe?
You can use websites online to type in the post code and check the crime. I like to check every month of the year but also check around Christmas times to see if there are any burglaries. It’s also a great chance to look at any antisocial behaviour that might crop up.
8. Can you hear the neighbours?
If you go for viewings at the house around 5pm on a weekday, it’s completely different to viewing the house on a Saturday morning or afternoon. If you view the house on a more busy period you can really listen to whether you can hear the neighbours through the walls. Who wants a lovely house in a nice area when you can’t get to sleep because the neighbours are too loud?
9. Do you have enough money?
I can tell you the answer is a going to be a good 99% no. But I have to put down a £25k deposit to be able to purchase a £250k house. That is the minimum for an okay-ish house in Bristol City Centre which is a pain. However it’s not just the £12.5k deposit I need to save (split with partner) but also it’s good to save 3 mortgage payments in case you lose your job etc, but also when you purchase a house you need money for a mortgage advisor, solicitor and stamp duty, which for me is around an extra £4,500. So I need to save £17k just to purchase a house. Oh and then there’s appliances on top and other things but the main point is there are always added costs you need to look out for.
10. So what comes with the house?
However much I wish the answer was ‘completely furnished’ because after purchasing a first house money for furniture is something that just isn’t there. But I like to ask in the kitchen of house viewings ‘so what appliances are going/staying’ or ‘can I make an offer on the house with all kitchen appliances to be left’ this makes sure that when I move into the house the kitchen appliances are all there. Obviously if you have the money to purchase a new washing machine, tumble dryer, dishwasher then go ahead and don’t ask, for me it will be great to not have to fork out on another £2k+.
Another house we looked at said they wanted to remove the garage to give more of a garden, they said they had a quote for £900 and if you make an offer including their removal of the garage then they will get that done. So always ask if anything else comes with the house is a great idea.
Of course there are many more important things to consider when purchasing a house, however these are some of the ones at the top of my brain at the moment.
I’m getting to the point where I’m ready to just buy any house now. I want to move out so badly, I just don’t want to purchase a house for the sake of it. Here’s to constantly refreshing Rightmove and Zoopla for the next month….
*The gorgeous rustic metallic candle featured is from Bolsius Candles. They come in brown, copper, silver, pink and more! I cannot wait to style the Bolsius Candles all around my house when I finally purchase one!