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property buying

With the increasing rise of house prices, many people are turning to alternative options in order to get onto the property ladder. Purchasing jointly with friends or family is fast becoming a popular option, as is shared ownership through housing associations and such like, with shares starting at around 25%. However there is usually strict criteria as to whether you are eligible to take part in a shared ownership scheme, but each housing authority will have details regarding their criteria.

There are many ways of searching for the right property, from estate agents windows to the internet where you will find an array of different property search sites available. Many people are looking for a quick house sale so you may be able to get a bargain if you go about your search and negotiation the right way.

If you come across a property you like, arrange to view the property as quickly as possible or you could find yourself losing out. It’s also a good idea to arrange a second viewing and take a friend, someone who is impartial or perhaps a tradesman to look over any areas of the property you are concerned about. Don’t forget to check the history of the property, look around the area and perhaps ask the neighbours their opinion on the area.

It’s fine to consider buying a run-down property to renovate but check how long it has been on the market, as this could be an indicator as to whether there is much profit to be made from renovation. Conversely, if the property appears to have new carpets, bathrooms or kitchen, be sure to check for underlying issues that the seller may be hiding.

When you come to put in an offer, as much as it may be tempting to get an excellent deal, if the asking price is fair then consider offering that as it may prevent another person stepping forward and gazumping you part way through the process. And of course if you have no chain then it is usually preferable as many people would prefer to sell house fast. Speak to the seller about removing adverts and putting up a sold sign as this will put off any potential buyers from looking, and it shows they are serious, and puts your mind at ease.

Chains can be a nightmare as all too many people know, so ensure you maintain regular communication with the seller, conveyancer and estate agent. Try and be as flexible as you can too, which may mean renting for a short time to keep the chain going. Also let the vendor know you’re happy to move on their terms and keep a good relationship with them which will help to prevent them letting you down. But also consider taking out insurance which ensures that if you are gazumped by another seller that you can recover the cost of your fees. Buying a property can be an arduous and frustrating process, but by keeping an open mind and remaining flexible you will have a much better experience during the process.

by Cormac Henderson

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