Top tips for buying a property in 2021
According to recent statistics, the number of people moving house in the UK dropped by over a third in the first 6 months of 2020, which, considering the circumstances, may not be too surprising.
However, despite this slump it was reported that house prices in November 2020 rose by the fastest rate in 4 years. It appears that the events of 2020 have led to an increase in people re-evaluating their living circumstances and moving accordingly.
Understandably, homes with space for a home office and larger gardens are at the top of buyers’ wish lists, with the effects of lockdown and working from home making their impact. Commuter towns saw the biggest increase in property sales as people seek to move out of the cities.
Despite the latest round of lockdown restrictions in January 2021, it has been confirmed that the UK property market will still be able to function, and house viewings and sales can still go ahead with the usual restrictions of the last few months in place. The removal of stamp duty until March 2021 has helped keep the market buoyant.
If you are considering buying or selling property, here are our top 5 tips for a smooth process.
Get your budget sorted first
According to property whizz Kirsty Allsopp, this is the number 1 mistake that UK buyers make. Using a Mortgage Calculator like this is an invaluable tool in getting the numbers balanced before booking a viewing appointment. I really like this Mortgage Calculator as it allows you to compare at a glance both Fixed Rate and Variable mortgages, adjusting your house price, downpayment and other associated costs in a very simple way.
Check out past prices
This may be something that we take for granted these days, but before the onset of online estate agents, previous selling prices were hard to find. Nowadays, it is fairly simple to access previous selling prices using a “Sold STC” filtered search on a websites such as Zoopla and Rightmove. When comparing past prices is it also important to consider the condition of the property. For example, it may have previously sold for significantly less, but if it has been fully remodelled throughout then this may explain a hefty jump in price.
Don’t be afraid to make an offer
Another claim from Kirsty Allsopp is that the majority of British people don’t make offers on property, as they may be too nervous. But making – and having an offer accepted could end up saving you thousands of pounds. Generally speaking, an offer should be no less than 10% lower than the asking price if it is to be taken seriously by the seller at all.
Of course, there is no guarantee of an offer being accepted, but as the saying goes, “if you don’t ask, you don’t get!”
Check for key features during a viewing
According to a recent survey, some surprising features come top in UK property buyer’s list of wants. For example, decent broadband speed, accessible electrical sockets and extra toilets have all made the top 10 in recent years, ahead of more traditional wants such as a bathtub, dining room and decent schools in the vicinity. If you have specific requirements such as a high broadband speed, don’t be afraid to ask about this on the viewing.
Consider the potential
As a buyer or seller, with home office space currently at the top of buyers’ lists, consider how you can incorporate this. Adding space for an office with undoubtedly increase the selling price of your house, while visualising how you can incorporate one in a house you are buying will add value down the line. Check out our guide to adding office space to your existing home here.