First Time Buyer Help

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First Time Buyer Help

Postby Denzil on Mon May 14, 2018 1:55 pm

I am currently looking to buy my first place and was looking for a bit of advice.

Buying on my own, ideally I want a house vs a flat so looking a bit further out - currently Bwood, looking at Rayleigh(ish). I commute into London.

Other than the standard things to ask, what should I be asking or looking out for when viewing properties? I want to make sure I don't get caught out with anything. Noisy neighbours can be an issue, how do I suss out as best I can what they're like without knocking on the door and talking to them?

Another question; I understand that some things will need to be compromised especially within the budget I am buying in. I get it's all down to personal preference but what should really take priority. For example, I have found a gaff I like but it's not that close to a station but is walking distance (12-15 mins). That's about as toppy as I would want it each way. Thing is, the town centre is probably 10 mins past the station, so a walk into town could be a 30 min walk each way and I do like having a town centre within walking distance, although there are a couple of shops near to the house plus a supermarket. I do drive too but parking is probably a bit agg of a weekend. The house itself I do really like and get much more space that I would living within the 5 mins walk to the station from properties I have viewed. The location is slightly putting me off though.
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Re: First Time Buyer Help

Postby somerset-hammer on Mon May 14, 2018 2:02 pm

Although, not vital in the grand scheme of things a Southwest (I think) facing garden.

Last thing you want is a garden that's in the shade for most of the day during summer.
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Re: First Time Buyer Help

Postby Johnny Byrne's Boots on Mon May 14, 2018 2:04 pm

Visit likely contenders at different times of the day, this may show up commuter parking blocking driveways during the day, or drum'n'bollox blaring out at two in the morning from the neighbours.
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Re: First Time Buyer Help

Postby tonkaman on Mon May 14, 2018 2:48 pm

somerset-hammer wrote:Although, not vital in the grand scheme of things a Southwest (I think) facing garden.

Last thing you want is a garden that's in the shade for most of the day during summer.


My garden is south-west facing. Awesome :)
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Re: First Time Buyer Help

Postby Denzil on Mon May 14, 2018 2:56 pm

I did ask the question re what direction it faces, this was to the homeowner rather than agent. It gets the sun in the PM I am told.
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Re: First Time Buyer Help

Postby DasNutNock on Mon May 14, 2018 2:57 pm

Johnny Byrne's Boots wrote:Visit likely contenders at different times of the day, this may show up commuter parking blocking driveways during the day, or drum'n'bollox blaring out at two in the morning from the neighbours.


Absolutely. Our road looks like a ghost town during the day but by 7pm it resembles the M25.
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Re: First Time Buyer Help

Postby DasNutNock on Mon May 14, 2018 2:58 pm

Find the closest boozer and ask the landlord/barman some questions about the road/area/locals. Might need to try a few pubs before you find someone with useful information, but is worth doing.
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Re: First Time Buyer Help

Postby somerset-hammer on Mon May 14, 2018 3:15 pm

I expect there's better checklists out there, but look for signs of damp.

https://blog.policyexpert.co.uk/house-home/how-to-spot-damp-in-a-new-home/
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Re: First Time Buyer Help

Postby EastBrisHammer on Mon May 14, 2018 3:30 pm

It's all about compromise when first buying a place. I would say location is very important but thirty minutes doesn't sound too bad. Is that a stroll or power walking? My first property was a long walk to everywhere and it did become a pain, so think about it carefully. If you love the property though, just go for it.

Noisy neighbours is a complete lottery. I bought a house with bad neighbours. Even before we completed on the property I must have visited the street at least six times at different times of the day and nothing warned me of the impending DOOOOM! Worked out alright in the end though.

Whatever, do not think you are stuck. Yeah it costs a bit of money to move but never feel stuck. You can move again, even its just a year later.
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Re: First Time Buyer Help

Postby Denzil on Mon May 14, 2018 4:07 pm

Some really good advice, thank you. DNN that is a really good idea actually, I will definitely do that. I don't know Rayleigh well but the area seemed nice and quiet enough but that doesn't mean it is, does it. Always worth speaking to people in the know.

I asked the owner about noise from next door and he said they're fine, said it is not a very old build so you do get the odd noise like their front door closing or something but on a whole nothing at all and also said that as they only have one car they let them use their drive if they have visitors, so can only assume they get along okay.

I feel a bit rushed as I split with my mrs and have had to move back with my family, which at 30 years old after leaving home six years ago I am struggling with massively, so I am worried I will just settle for a place but it's worth doing purely for my sanity.

EBH: 30 mins is probably top end, I could walk quickly in 20 if I gunned it I guess. Not the end of the world, you're right.
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Re: First Time Buyer Help

Postby tonkaman on Mon May 14, 2018 5:16 pm

I live outside Rochford, just a couple of miles away from Rayleigh and my sister-in-law lives in Rayleigh. I can ask around if you like?
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Re: First Time Buyer Help

Postby Denzil on Mon May 14, 2018 5:40 pm

That'd be great if you don't mind Tonka! Thank you :thup:
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Re: First Time Buyer Help

Postby ChzMff on Mon May 14, 2018 10:06 pm

You need to decide what is important to you. There will be things you’re willing to compromise on and others you’re not.

Some little things that I would recommend to think about or try out where possible:

- Age of boiler
- Double glazed windows and whether the hinges are all ok
- Parking
- Rubbish on road (i.e. mattress or sofa graveyard indicates people don’t give a toss about the area)
- Give the shower a blast to check water pressure
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Re: First Time Buyer Help

Postby Briggsy on Tue May 15, 2018 8:29 am

If you do go for a flat, remember it'll almost definitely be leasehold, not free hold (Although on rare occasions, some flats are freehold and some flats are leasehold)

If you're looking at a lease hold property, make sure it has at least an 80 year lease but ideally more. You will have to pay ground rent and service change on a leasehold property as well.

If it's freehold, make sure you get buildings insurance!

Also, make sure you buy something that you think will have a good re-sale value. Look at the future of the area i.e re-generation or improving rail-links.
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Re: First Time Buyer Help

Postby the pink palermo on Tue May 15, 2018 8:49 am

Keep an eye out for any foxy little minxes that can entertain you on cold winter nights, and whether it's a target rich environment of single mums looking for "company".
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Re: First Time Buyer Help

Postby Mega Ron on Tue May 15, 2018 10:28 am

Buy a place you can do up to add value to.
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Re: First Time Buyer Help

Postby Samba on Tue May 15, 2018 12:36 pm

Denzil wrote:I asked the owner about noise from next door and he said they're fine, said it is not a very old build so you do get the odd noise like their front door closing or something but on a whole nothing at all and also said that as they only have one car they let them use their drive if they have visitors, so can only assume they get along okay.
EBH: 30 mins is probably top end, I could walk quickly in 20 if I gunned it I guess.

Hmm, anyone selling is GONNA say, 'the neighbours are fine'. I'm not saying they're not, they probably are, but, you know, pinch of salt.
Get a folding bike & that journey to the station could be much quicker. Great for shopping at weekends too with panniers & a rucksack.
For gardens, worst facing is North. South or Southwest, great.
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Re: First Time Buyer Help

Postby psychoscoredthelot on Tue May 15, 2018 2:36 pm

the best bit of advice is to visit the place several times like someone else has already suggested. others are:-

ask how old the boiler is
ask when the electrics were last done
check you have a signal on your mobile
make sure there are enough electrical sockets around the place
your nose is a good indicator - i can smell damp as soon as i walk in somewhere
google burglary/crime statistics for the road/area
check out what the parking is like in your road
ask about the local schools - if there are good schools nearby you will always be able to sell it
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