My First Property

Dealbreakers When Buying A House

When viewing a house, there are some aspects that you will consider nice to have, whilst others will be deal breakers. And these may be quite personal to you - someone else viewing the house might have very different priorities.

Because it can be hard to think of these on the spot, you should consider carefully what you consider essential and what you consider merely nice to have before you start your property viewing.

Think about how you intend to use the property, and who is going to live there, and who could potentially visit.

For instance if you have an elderly parent that is likely to spend an increasing amount of time with you, then ask them what their needs are. You might discover as a result that a garden with a steep slope or large steps in it would be unsuitable and would therefore be a deal breaker: equally if you have young children or plan to have children in the immediate future then accessibility issues and safety issues such as this will be things that you need to consider above and beyond your own immediate needs as an adult.

Some deal breakers are more obvious than others. For instance, if you know you absolutely must have a garden, then looking at a property with no garden is simply not worth it.

The best thing to do is to break down your list into things you will know just from the property listing and things you will only know by having a viewing. Any properties that fail the first test you should discard as not worth viewing - even if other aspects of the house are great, if it contains even one deal breaker then there is no point going around it - after all, you already know it is a deal breaker, as long as your list of deal breakers is accurate.

If you have seen a range of properties, and your deal breaker is proving difficult, perhaps because it is hard to find a property that matches your expectations in your budget (eg you want a detached house and nothing else will do, or in a certain location that is more expensive than the surrounding areas), then you should revisit your deal breakers list and decide:

1) Whether everything on it really is a deal breaker or if potentially something could move onto your nice-to-haves list: the list of things you want but won't in itself stop you from going ahead with a potential viewing and ultimately a purchase

2) Whether, if your deal breaker is definitely a deal breaker, but is currently stopping you buying, if you should be patient and suspend your search a little while, either waiting for new properties to come onto the market, or so you can build up some more cash to be able to see a wider range of properties and therefore have more chance of encountering one that does not fall foul of a deal breaker of yours. Certainly the smaller the area you have your heart set on living in, the more patient you may need to be in your search, particularly if fresh properties coming onto the market in that area are in short supply and lots of other people want to live there too.

Last update: 07 Jun 2015

More first-time house buying articles:

  1. Buying a new build
  2. After Your Offer Is Accepted
  3. Tips On Buying A Flat
  4. Viewing a Property in London
  5. Buying Furnishings From The Seller


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