Will You Be Buying, Improving Or Building This Year?
Official figures show that the UK housing market has finally regained its equilibrium, with house prices rising by 8.4% last year. So moving home is beginning to seem like a viable option again. The average home is now said to be valued at £175,826. But having said that it’s relevant to mention the average house in the UK is still 5% below the peak prices reached in 2007.
However for some homeowners who are in a good financially situation this means that if your current property no longer meets your needs, you now have 3 realistic options open to you – buy, improve or build.
If you have itchy feet, out grown your property or need to move due to a job relocation now is a great time to find a great deal. With the housing market as it stands you are in an ideal position to sell making a small profit and grabbing a bargain at the same time.
There are a few factors to consider when buying a new home, do you want to go down the ‘do me up route’ or ‘let’s move in and put our feet up type of place’. There’s no magical formula to follow when looking for a new property, but having a check list of things you are looking for from your new home, like we need 4 bedrooms, a garage, large garden, conservatory, must have open fires etc. will help you when you start searching the market.
You will of course need to find out how much you are able to spend/borrow on your new property before you start viewing homes. No point in falling in love with a property only to find it’s out of your price range, this will only waste the seller’s time and be frustrating for you.
• Valuation Fee
• Legal Fees
• Removal Costs
• Stamp Duty
• House repairs/Improvements
• Additional Furniture
Don’t let your heart rule the way this is a major purchase and you shouldn’t let emotions cloud your judgement. Before you make an offer take some time to consider a few things beyond the size, style and price of the property. When asking the following questions they may not tell you the truth, but you should be able to gage if they are uncomfortable when asked a question they don’t really want to answer.
Top Questions To Ask Before Putting In An Offer
• How long has it been on the market and how many viewings/offers has it had?
• Can I see the electrical and gas reports?
• Are there any neighbour disputes?
• Is there any parking issues?
• Is there a chain?
• What’s included in the sale price?
• What council tax band does the property fall into?
• What home improvements have been carried out?
So is moving home an option for you? No. Then let’s look at improving.
If you are happy with your current location you may decide that improving on what you have is the way forward for you. Many homeowners take this decision and if a quality job is carried out short term and long term gains can be made.
Improvements can come in different packages from building an extension or garage, laying a driveway, adding a conservatory, replacing new windows & doors, landscaping the gardens to revamping rooms like the kitchens/bathrooms.
Depending on the scale of the job having a project manager to oversee the project is a good idea. Larger home improvement projects can get out of hand if not managed properly, going over budget and missing deadlines can bring a project to a total stand still.
The most important factor is to make sure the improvements you do are carried out are by a professional or a competent DIY person and that the finished job compliments the original property rather than distracts from it. Your home improvements whatever they are should add value to your home, blending into the style of your property which in turn will help you sell in the future if needs be.
Totally different from improving we are talking building from scratch. With programmes like Grand Designs on the TV we can gain inspiration and guidance. For some this option is just a pipedream but for others it becomes a reality.
Seeking good advice from architects and planning officers will give you the best foundations to build your dream home on. This isn’t going to be an easy journey, finding the land and then obtaining planning permission are just two major areas you will need to tackle.
Picking your architect is something you should give very careful consideration too. Ask to see examples of previous builds and make sure they have good technical and financial skills.
There are many factors to consider when deciding on building your own home which we aren’t going to cover in this article, but being aware that self builds take; time, money and patience will give you an idea of what you are taking on board, and with most projects going over schedule, budget and becoming frustrating it’s a big commitment which isn’t for everyone.
But on the positive the benefits of having the home you have always dreamed of, with everything exactly as you want it must out way the negatives!