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Property Buyers - Code of Practice

Life in your new property: Keep the magic alive!

You can easily return items to the shop within 28 days of purchasing, but unfortunately you cannot do that with a property. Once you have bought a house of your own, you can’t simply return it – it’s yours to keep. As a result, it is important to ensure you conduct thorough research to ensure you find the right property for you before rushing into a quick house sale.

It is a known fact that first-time buyers often want to get on the property ladder as quickly as possible, but at a good price. This may mean that they may settle for a home that they are not entirely happy with because it is cheap.

Or, homeowners ending up stuck in their dream neighbourhood with the right postcode, but the wrong property for their wants and needs. Therefore, it is vital that buyers think carefully about what they want from a property and rank each factor, such as:

  • Location of the property
  • Proximity to amenities
  • Transport links?
  • Highly awarded schools in the area
  • Affordability

The last thing you want is to want to move house shortly after moving in, once the excitement of buying a first home and beginning the next chapter of your life, has worn off.


This is not uncommon. According to research, 20 percent of people become disenchanted with their property shortly after moving in.

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How do you know whether the property is right for you?

Everyone knows that buying a home is a big commitment, therefore it shouldn’t be a rushed decision. The main thing to remember is that a property is essentially bricks and mortar, and you can put your stamp on the property once you have moved in. So, leave your rose-tinted glasses at the door and be realistic when viewing a property.

Get a survey done

Photo credit: Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

Once you have put in an offer on a home that you are happy to call “home”, you must conduct a house survey to find out whether the property is sound. This is carried out by a surveyor who is either a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors or from the Residential Property Surveyors Association (RPSA).

There are three types of house survey, each more detailed than the next. They are:

  • Condition Report
  • Homebuyers Report
  • Buildings Survey

For a modern house in reasonable condition, a ‘Condition Report’ should suffice in reassuring a buyer who just wants to check that everything is a-okay. Significant issues will be highlighted without much detail and traffic light ratings will be given for the condition of each part of the property, giving buyers the green light to go ahead and make that offer. For older, more run-down properties a ‘Buildings Survey’ is worth doing to put your mind at ease.

Although these surveys will be costly in the short term, they’re likely to save you a lot of money in the future by highlighting any problems. If any issues are brought to light, you can use this as a bargaining tool when negotiating down the asking price to factor in any work that may need to be carried out, such as a new roof.

Research the area thoroughly

Ensure you get a feel for the neighbourhood before moving in. If the area has a local newspaper, it is worth picking one up to get a feel for the areas strengths and weaknesses before you move in.

It’s perfectly acceptable to knock on doors to get to know prospective neighbours and talk to people in the local shops – this way you will know whether you will fit in. The last thing you want is to find you are living next to an annoying neighbour, making your life a misery.

Cosmetic changes are easy to make

Photo credit: Paolo Paradiso / Shutterstock

Remember, do not be put off by tired-looking homes whilst house hunting. If the property is not “perfect” and ticking all of the boxes, it doesn’t mean that it’s not right for you. So when looking at properties, bear in mind that any cosmetic changes are easy to make. For example, a house exterior can easily be spruced up with a lick of paint and planting some flowers, to increase kerb appeal.

You can easily make a house feel more like a home with a little bit of decorating, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. For example, if your budget can’t stretch to a new dining table, then a tablecloth can make all the difference, or simply lay a brand spanking new throw over your worn couch. Or if more space is what you’re after, you may want to consider adding an extension to your property to increase the living space. However, if your budget doesn’t stretch to this, bear in mind that you can create the illusion of a larger abode by simply making a few changes to your decor and adding mirrors.


A bit of forward planning and forecast could be the difference between a happy home and a thoroughly miserable one – the extra effort will be worth it.



Feature image credit: Pavel L Photo and Video / Shutterstock

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