Looking to buy a property in Brentford, Chiswick, Ealing, Isleworth or Acton?
Starting your Property Search
It’s not just about being able to afford buying a property based on your current financial situation. If interest rates rise or your income decreases, could you still afford the property? You’ll also have to find money for the deposit, mortgage fees and Stamp Duty. Start by breaking down your monthly budget in detail. If you will be stretched to the limit every month due to mortgage payments, it may not be the best option at the moment.
Existing homeowners may wish to secure a buyer for their property before they look for a new home. While this will generate much needed funds it can also slow the buying process down as it creates a property chain linking together a line of buyers and sellers all hoping to finalise deals on their properties.
Once you know what you can afford, you can then start to search for the property. This can be a lengthy process and it’s important to remain as flexible as possible because your ‘dream home’ may not always be on the market and it can save months of frustration. Key things to consider include:
If you are a parent, how are local schools rated by OFSTED? Are they easily accessible? Check that local transport is able to get your kids to and from school, whilst also supporting your commuting needs for work. See what type of shops are nearby, including a local supermarket, whilst also checking on doctor and dentist availability. Find out more about the neighbourhood and surrounding areas to see what crime rates are like and if there are neighbourhood watch schemes available.
Property type and size
What size of property is going to suit your current lifestyle? Are you single, married, with a family or planning on starting one? You need to strike a balance between property size and what you can afford to pay – which will also be dictated by the area you choose. Would you prefer a new build home, or a period property? Each has their pros and cons, but lifestyle needs and affordability may be the deciding factor on which one you opt for.
You may have more specific requirements beyond the amount of bedrooms and bathrooms available in the home. Does more than one person drive and do you need off-street parking? How about a back garden to relax in, or for kids and pets to enjoy? This will invariably add to the price but it also increases the value you will get from living there.
Register with an Estate Agent
When looking for a property one of the best things you can do is register with local estate agents in the area you are searching to buy in. If possible, meet them in person to build a relationship so they can get to know more about what you are looking for. The more information they have, the easier it is for them to match your specific requirements.
Estate agents are skilled and experienced professionals with in-depth knowledge of the local property market. They will be able to keep you in the loop about new opportunities as soon as they appear, helping you to get a head start on properties that will be of interest.
When it comes to choosing the right estate agents to suit you, the best criteria to follow is:
- Check which professional bodies they are associated with (eg The Property Ombudsman).
- Test their local knowledge to ensure they are tapped into the nearby property market.
- Read reviews online to find out about their reputation, reliability and professionalism.
At Thorgills, our estate agents are local property experts and are always on hand to help you find your ideal property. If you would like to keep up-to-date with the latest properties to buy in Brentford, Chiswick, Ealing, Isleworth or Acton, register today.
Looking at properties online is usually the starting point, although it will only tell you so much about the property itself. If you have registered with local estate agents, they will encourage you to visit the properties in person and it’s a rule that should be applied at all times. Once at the property try to remember to check and ask about:
Check for any damp/mould, cracks in the walls and ceiling. Is there enough storage? Do the light switches work and is the flooring in good condition?
Doors and windows
Do they work properly? Check the condition of the frames and locks. Are windows single, double or triple glazed?
Do the taps work and does the hot water flow easily? Check the water pressure in the shower and the condition of the bath.
Check the general condition and age of the brickwork along with the state of the rendering and finish. Is the chimney straight and all the tiles on the roof in place? Drainage and gutters in good working order? If there is a garden has it been maintained? What direction does it face (south-facing enjoys more sun)?
Is the gas and electricity turned on? What is the condition of the boiler? How much is the council tax in the area? Check if any burglar, fire or carbon monoxide alarms are installed. What sort of TV and broadband connections are available? Is there good mobile phone coverage?
Making an Offer
If you are happy with the property and can see yourself living there, the next step is to make a formal offer. It’s common to go in below the asking price as a negotiation tactic. However, bear in mind that if others are interested in the property or the owner refuses your first offer you may have to subsequently increase your the price you offer.
The easiest way to understand the value of the property you are interested in is to check similar types that have recently been sold in the area. The Land Registry website is a good source for this type of information.
Always be open to negotiation as it is rare that the first offer made is the one that seals the deal. Keep your cards close to your chest and never reveal your budget or show too much enthusiasm to the seller as they may not be as flexible with the price. Whatever happens always weigh up your options and never rush into a decision you aren’t completely comfortable with.
If your offer is accepted there are still some important steps that have to be completed. Firstly, hire a solicitor to handle the legalities of the buying process such as drawing up contracts, conducting searches, managing Land Registry and stamp duty responsibilities and most importantly, transferring your money to the seller.
Once you have hired a solicitor, they will be able to run through each requirement in detail to ensure nothing is overlooked. Their fees usually range between £500 to £1,500 depending on the cost of the property and amount of work they have to do.
Once everything is completed a moving in date can be set and once you have the house keys it is time to move in and start enjoying your brand new home.
If you are looking to buy property in Brentford, Chiswick, Ealing, Isleworth or Acton, get in touch with our estate agent team today who will be happy to help.
Get in touch
Call us on 020 8994 9886 or use the contact form below