What to look for buying a house
For most buying a house will be the largest purchase of your life so it is crucial that you get it right, and select your new property carefully.
To this end, we have taken advice from many leading estate agents and property experts to produce a full guide on what to look for buying a house in Birkenhead. Although this guide is specifically written for Birkenhead most of it applies to any area you wish to buy, as they can adapt the process to your area.
Local area research in Birkenhead
Search the Internet to find as much information as you can on the local area you are interested in.
You can make use of the major property portals such as Rightmove or Onthemarket.
Another great resource is the HM Land Registry which is part of the Government website.
Here you can not only search by town or city, but also by Street name. You just enter your requirements and the date range you are interested in and it will display all prices and transaction history of the particular property. See Land registry open data for full details.
Once you have idea of local house prices, you will want to check what the area is like. To look at crimes in an area, can be useful however you need to compare the data with another comparable city or area. If We compare Birkenhead to Merseyside you will find there are 15% less burglary’s in Birkenhead and 9% fewer bicycle thefts which are great, however, if you look at anti-social behaviour it is 25% more dangerous. You can see full figures on https://crimerate.co.uk/merseyside/birkenhead
You can also see trends on all crime figures to see if an area is getting better or worse.
Once you have found your property and wish to proceed with the purchase, you will need to put an offer in. If you have done the research above you should have a good idea of what property’s have sold for in the past, but the price will depend on the condition and any additions to the property, such as extensions or conservatories etc. If you are happy with the property and its condition then try an offer of 10% below the asking price. If the property has been on the market for longer than 2 months you could increase this to 15% below. Once they have accepted your offer you will need to get the ball rolling on the purchase. If you are a cash purchaser then you are very lucky and will not need a mortgage, but for the majority of us you will need to get a mortgage. Before you put your offer in it will be taken much more seriously if you have an agreement in principle before putting the offer in, although not legally required.
Once you have your agreement in principle and your offer has been accepted you will need to start the purchasing process. This is called conveyancing and is the legal process of buying your property and getting it transferred over to you. There is a lot more to conveyancing such as searches. The three main searches are Local authority searches, Environmental searches, and Water and drainage searches. For conveyancing you can either use a high street solicitor or a specialist online conveyancing service, the choice is yours. Online conveyancing will generally be cheaper, but you should always get a quote in writing (email is fine) listing the conveyancing fee and any additional charges. Many online conveyancers and some offline offer a no move no fee guarantee, which means should the sale fall through, as long as it was not your fault, they will not charge you for the work done.
If no problems are found then you should receive the contract to sign in order to complete the sale.
You will need to go through the contract with your conveyancer or solicitor to ensure all the details are correct, and you are happy with what the seller has agreed to leave in the property.
At this point, the seller is committed to the sale and they might ask for a holding which can be between £500 to £1000 which shows intent.
Once contracts are exchanged you should have buildings insurance in place to cover the property.
You are now the proud owner of a property in Birkenhead or wherever you have purchased your property. You now need to move in, and there are many options, you can hire a removals company, try and do it yourself or maybe hire a man with a van, which for Birkenhead you could use.
Whatever way you move make sure the service you use has insurance in place to cover any breakages.