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Property hunting – how to spot a bargain

For the majority of people, buying a property is one of – if not the most – significant purchase they will make in their lifetime.  This being said, if you know what to look out for, it can be possible to get a “bargain” in relative terms.

Here are our tips on what to look out for and how to spot a good deal.

  1. Look beyond décor and furniture

When viewing a house – either online or in person – it can be easy to get put off simply because you don’t like the way a house is currently presented. Although buying a house that is finished in just the way you would have chosen would be nice, this is always going to come with a higher price tag. Try to look instead at hard facts – such as the dimensions of a property’s rooms on its floorplan – and think about how you may be able to work with the space to put your own stamp on it.

2. Investigate sold prices

If you’re a RightMove addict, you may well have a good idea of the typical house prices in an area. However, all areas have their more and less desirable streets, so it is always worth doing a bit of digging to find out what other houses on the same road have sold for and how the price of the house you’re looking at compares. 

3. Get quotes for building works

If you are looking at buying a house with a view to extending it or undertaking remodelling works, it could be a good idea to get quotes on what this may cost so you have a clear idea of whether they would be worthwhile, factoring in the property’s asking price. Building works are often more expensive than you might think – and a good builder will lay out the areas in which extra costs may apply – such as achieving a certain level of finish or additional costs for unforeseen works that may become applicable during the project. It is worth pointing out that building works also often overrun, so if you are planning on living elsewhere during the project, these costs will also have to be factored in.

4. Get a survey

Having a RICS Homebuyer Survey or a Building Survey Report undertaken may uncover issues present in the property that you may not have been aware of. In these circumstances, it may be possible to go back to the vendor and negotiate a new, lower purchase price.  We would always recommend getting an experienced Chartered Surveyor, who knows what to look for, to inspect the house for you, before you go ahead and make the purchase.

5. Consider a new-build

Another way to get a good deal on a property is to buy a new-build. Depending on the popularity of the development, it can be possible to secure significant discounts on the listed price. Alternatively, you may be able to negotiate added extras, such as floor coverings (carpets and tiles), turf or patio for the garden, additional tiling in bathrooms and kitchens, or upgraded finishes to bathroom suites or kitchens. These can sometimes mount up to a significant figure, which if included as part of the deal, could be seen as a bargain.

Buying a new-build comes with a caveat – and we would always advise that you instruct a Snagging Inspection by a Chartered Surveyor.

For more advice from our Chartered Surveyors, or if you have found a property that you would like advice or a report on, please contact us.

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“We had a Schedule of Condition carried out on a Commercial Property. From vacant possession to our proposed completion date we were really tight on time. Gary managed to carry out the inspection and write a very thorough report in the time needed to ensure we hit our completion date. The price of the report was also extremely competitive. I would recommend Lea Hough to anyone looking for a Professional Surveyors with excellent service & communication at a competitive price.”

Danny Ambler - Fuse Contract Furniture, Blackburn