Expert offers top tips to homebuyers

A property expert has highlighted five key qualities that homebuyers should look for in a potential new property.

Writing on 24 June, Graham Ellis, associate director residential at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), said that although a home was likely to be the most expensive purchase someone would ever make, it was “easy to think emotionally or act impatiently when weighing up your options”.

His checklist, designed to help homebuyers make rational decisions, highlight the five key qualities as:

  • sound – as well as a home survey, which will give potential buyers a clear idea of what maintenance, repairs and improvements might be needed, Mr Ellis says: “It’s good to check a few things for yourself such as the lights, taps, plugs and windows all work to your satisfaction”
  • safe – a survey will identify potential risks such as the presence of asbestos or lead piping. Home buyers should also be aware of flood risk
  • comfortable – Mr Ellis says that as well as making sure that the property and garden are large enough for their needs, buyers should think about whether they will be affected by rush hour traffic, nearby railway lines or of flight paths or whether there would be noise from local businesses, such as pubs, clubs or restaurants
  • affordable – as well as the purchase price, buyers need to think about maintenance, utilities, insurance and other essential overheads. Mr Ellis highlights the energy performance certificate, which the seller or agent has to provide, as a good guide to utility costs
  • investable – will the property hold its value? Buyers need to think about the issues such as the cost of extending the lease on a leasehold property or how the value of a new property – which often sell at a premium price – might fall into line with older properties after a few years.

Clare Butcher, who manages Palmers’ residential property team, said: “There are a lot of issues to think about when buying a property and home buyers need to make informed decisions. It’s easy to be ruled by your heart rather than your head if you find a property you instantly fall in love with but a rash decision could prove to be a costly mistake.

“Working with an experienced property solicitor is a sensible step, which will give home buyers access to expert support throughout the purchase process. At Palmers’, we offer a fast and cost-efficient conveyancing service delivered by property professionals who will provide practical, proactive support at every stage. For more information, please contact our Property team.”