Buying a home can be a daunting process and whether you are first time buyer or not, there is a lot to remember and do from the beginning. When you first decide to start looking for a property to buy there are considerations that can make the process simpler and smoother. If you follow the advice below you are less likely to have issues later down the line when you have already invested time and money into buying a particular property.

Homes In Chains

If you are buying a house with a chain, and the vendor is still living in the property when you view it, it can feel strange looking around the house. Some people even feel intrusive as it is filled with the vendor’s possessions and reveals aspects of their life, but don’t let that put you off. You need to turn on taps, flush toilets, take a look at the boiler and generally do a thorough inspection of the property. I advise people to look at the property more than once if possible.

Inspect The Property

Remember it is a good idea to do a physical inspection of the property as close to the exchange of contracts as possible, as the contract states that the buyer accepts the state and condition of the property as at the date of exchange. This helps avoid any nasty surprises.

Check The Neighbors Out

Again, you may worry that it seems nosey to speak to the neighbours of the property you are buying before exchange of contracts, but it is important to do so. They could disclose a dispute that the sellers have failed to disclose in their property information form. Plus, it is beneficial to get a sense of the community and an idea of the people you will be living next to.

Do A Drive By

I would also recommend you drive around the road you are buying in the evening and weekends, so that you can get a feel for the road in which you are buying and check if there is any anti-social behaviour.

Get Insured

Get buildings insurance quotes for the property you are buying before exchange, don’t assume the property is insurable on normal terms or without a large premium or excess.


The next one is often overlooked but remember that a mortgage valuation is purely for your mortgage lenders benefit and you as the buyer cannot rely upon it. You need to arrange your own survey otherwise issues could come out the woodwork once you have moved in, that are costly to resolve.

Invasive Plants

Research what Japanese Knotweed looks like and keep an eye out for it when you inspect the property, although it is not always easy to identify. If you have any suspicions it may be present, arrange for an experts report.


When buying a leasehold property check to see what the lease term and the cost of the current years’ service charge is before you start spending money on searches. If the lease term falls below 80 years, the cost of the lease extension almost doubles and mortgage lenders may not be prepared to lend when lease terms are less than 80 years. See if the sellers would arrange for the lease term to be extended, or at the very least ask them to obtain the cost of the lease extension from the freeholder.