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Old 5 Aug 19, 09:37 AM  
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#11
limmy
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Test the taps and actually ask if appliances work! When we moved the main bathroom had no running water. (Luckily theres 3 others) but the fitted kitchen all had to come out as none of the appliances worked properly and when you had the washer on it smelt like manure!
I would never have thought to check the taps but because we didnt ask we weren't covered. The next time we move people will think I am crazy as we will check everything! Lol
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Old 5 Aug 19, 09:39 AM  
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If you're that close to schools I would defo drive by around school drop off or collection time just to see how bad traffic is. School drop off parking is some of the worst you'll ever see.
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Old 5 Aug 19, 09:40 AM  
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Rac20
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Visit at different times of day. Are the roads surrounding it busier at different times? Do people play the drums every day at 8pm etc. That kind of thing. Does it have its own parking? Parking for us is a big must. It would annoy me greatly if I couldnít park near my house.
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Old 5 Aug 19, 09:45 AM  
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Megandllsmum
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Originally Posted by limmy View Post
If you're that close to schools I would defo drive by around school drop off or collection time just to see how bad traffic is. School drop off parking is some of the worst you'll ever see.
This 100% but then again at this time of year you wouldnít get a good idea because itís school holidays, our house has an academy at end of road and parking is a nightmare at certain times of day in term time, we have a drive so donít need on road parking but its a nightmare parking on here in daytime Monday to Friday , parents picking up their little darlings will happily park across your drive, teachers and sixth form students with cars all park on here and surrounding roads too.
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Old 5 Aug 19, 09:46 AM  
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ezukax
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Get a good inspection. It'll protect your investment, but also give you some negotiating power if there are issues. You could spend a few hundred on the inspector, but end up saving thousands at closing.

A few things to look out for, both good and bad.

That beautiful pot of petunias by the front patio was purchased from a nursery to improve curb value when the house went on the market. It tells you nothing about how good or bad the yard care has been.

Lazy sellers mow a weed-filled lawn right before an open house.

Beware of stumps, particularly fresh stumps. An old stump will be gray from weathering and its bark will be peeling or gone. A fresh stump will have vivid color and might even have visible sap clotting. Assume that any fresh stump has live roots beneath the surface that will start sprouting one month after escrow closes. If you recognize this early you can make it a negotiating point. Otherwise you will be stuck with the choice of trimming suckers for years until the roots finally die or else shelling out for a stump removal.


Check the driveway for cracks. If a tree was planted too close to pavement then its roots will split the pavement as it matures. This damage is progressive and irreversible. The only way to stop its progress is to cut down the tree. Then of course you have a stump; see stump issues above. Improperly landscaped trees can also cause foundation problems if they're too close to the house; this latter problem may be one of the few yard issues a building inspector inspects for--depends on your jurisdiction--yet it's a major problem if it becomes an issue so you might as well be aware that it could crop up, then do further research if needed.

If the yard has mulch, then how fresh and complete is the mulch cover? (Mulch replacement gets expensive fast and gravel mulch gets both heavy and expensive--I've spread down about 1500 lbs of gravel in the yard since we bought this house).

Skilled gardeners use a technique called companion planting. The idea behind companion planting is that certain plants in combination lessen pest problems. It's too big a topic to explain in detail here so to cover a couple of basics, geraniums are often used as companions for rose bushes and marigolds are often used as companions for vegetable gardens. One shortcut is to ask the seller what companion plantings they use: an attentive gardener will get excited and offer a detailed answer; an indifferent gardener will stare blankly and not understand the question.

If you're taking out a loan, try to make extra payments (no need to wait till the 1st of the month either, get credit as soon as you can). Make sure you have $ immediately for potential repairs. Also have extra money at closing "just in case". The prices you're giving can fluctuate a little; hopefully in your favor, but you never know.
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Old 5 Aug 19, 09:47 AM  
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vampiress88
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Loads have people have said lots of good things.

There were things we didnít look at when we bought our first house but we were 19 and to be honest didnít have a scooby about anything really.
Our issues were
Next door but one there was a tree so all the sun we did manage to get got blocked.

It was a north? Facing house. Canít remember if thatís right but basically majority of time no sun apart from very bottom of garden. Made washing difficult.

Private roads? We wonít do that again. The estate agents told us that everyone was going to chip in to get the road tarmac but after 11yrs still not done as everyone couldnít agree.

Check roof. Both garage and main house roof leaked.

Same with our boiler was awful. We managed a very long time with the original one but eventually needed it doing before first baby arrived. Expensive.

Where will your bins go. This seems like a random one but ours were originally under the front window but they stunk so put them near the back gate, unfortunately our back gate was at bottom of garden.
Also our only way out of the back was through a shared ďsnickerĒ but even though everyone was supposed to keep it clean they never did.
I remember being 36 weeks pregnant and chopping down all the nettles so I could get through.

Writing all these down is definitely not making me miss the old house!

Also think ahead for future years and how long you want to stay in that house for. If itís a forever (long term) house then it need to be future ready.

When we got our first we didnít really think about when we got older or started a family etc. It had steps into front door and our the back. The parking was on the road at the front and difficult to share. Couldnít get a pram in the front door. Had two kids so they had to share a room. Garden got boggy so kids couldnít go out as much. Garage was at end of road so didnít make use of it and difficult to cut grass.

There are so many things to think of and you wonít remember them all. There will always be things when you get in there you kick yourself about but as long as the big things are covered then there most important.

Enjoy it though and go in with level head to spot problems. Sometimes when you fall in love with a property itís easy to have the rose tinted glasses on.

And even if they do want the asking price alway negotiate. No harm in haggling
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Old 5 Aug 19, 09:59 AM  
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SquishTheWhale
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Originally Posted by limmy View Post
If you're that close to schools I would defo drive by around school drop off or collection time just to see how bad traffic is. School drop off parking is some of the worst you'll ever see.
Good point thanks- where the house is its kind of in its own little estate and there's closer places people could park for the schools but definitley worth checking.

It is nearby a football stadium, like not close enough to see but definitley close enough to hear. The location I'm sure is part of why its so cheap as the house is huge and so nice. The parking is allocated and numbered but that might not stop chancers trying to park there for football games.
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Old 5 Aug 19, 10:00 AM  
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#18
SquishTheWhale
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Originally Posted by Rac20 View Post
Visit at different times of day. Are the roads surrounding it busier at different times? Do people play the drums every day at 8pm etc. That kind of thing. Does it have its own parking? Parking for us is a big must. It would annoy me greatly if I couldnít park near my house.
Yes it has an allocated numbered parking space. Not sure about visitor parking but as we only have one car we can't let that dictate our buying. We are not even considering anything without its own parking having been there with nightmare parking situations!
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Old 5 Aug 19, 10:05 AM  
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parisdisneyfan
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Originally Posted by SquishTheWhale View Post
Thank you for all very useful responses!

The house is 30 minutes away from where we live at the mo so we've never been anywhere nearby, we definitley need to check out the area. Had a very good mooch around google street view. If that sounds weird for us to buy in an area we've never been to, we can get at least 50% more house for our money there as it takes us out of the commuter belt for London.

From at least the pics that are online, the only thing I easily pick up on that needs attention is the back garden fence which looks on its last legs. Could we use something like that as a reason for offering less than the asking price? DH says that's silly as its onlu a fence.

We will definitley follow the advice to view on different days at different times. Maybe we could go back at the weekend if we like it.

I'm pregnant and this will be our family home so schools are important. There's two primary schools nearby, 0.3 miles away and 0.5. We'd have a preference for the 0.5- is there any way to find out catchment areas? I googled and the only advice was really to contact the school which doesn't work in the school holidays!
School catchment is on rightmove, otherwise you should be able to find it on the council website. However you won't be able to check parking etc due to it being holidays, could that be a reason they have put it on now?

If you are expecting have you thought where you will have the baby? Will it change? However it is the best time to move as you will make lots of friends with a new baby.

The fence may not be their responsibility, but if it is, it isn't stupid reason to reduce offer as our fence (not huge about 10/11 panels) cost £1300 to replace. This would be something to check. You can look it up on the Land Registry website but think it costs you a couple of ££. If the T mark is towards your garden then it is your responsibility otherwise it is one of your neighbours.
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Old 5 Aug 19, 10:06 AM  
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SquishTheWhale
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Originally Posted by ezukax View Post
Get a good inspection. It'll protect your investment, but also give you some negotiating power if there are issues. You could spend a few hundred on the inspector, but end up saving thousands at closing.

A few things to look out for, both good and bad.

That beautiful pot of petunias by the front patio was purchased from a nursery to improve curb value when the house went on the market. It tells you nothing about how good or bad the yard care has been.

Lazy sellers mow a weed-filled lawn right before an open house.

Beware of stumps, particularly fresh stumps. An old stump will be gray from weathering and its bark will be peeling or gone. A fresh stump will have vivid color and might even have visible sap clotting. Assume that any fresh stump has live roots beneath the surface that will start sprouting one month after escrow closes. If you recognize this early you can make it a negotiating point. Otherwise you will be stuck with the choice of trimming suckers for years until the roots finally die or else shelling out for a stump removal.


Check the driveway for cracks. If a tree was planted too close to pavement then its roots will split the pavement as it matures. This damage is progressive and irreversible. The only way to stop its progress is to cut down the tree. Then of course you have a stump; see stump issues above. Improperly landscaped trees can also cause foundation problems if they're too close to the house; this latter problem may be one of the few yard issues a building inspector inspects for--depends on your jurisdiction--yet it's a major problem if it becomes an issue so you might as well be aware that it could crop up, then do further research if needed.

If the yard has mulch, then how fresh and complete is the mulch cover? (Mulch replacement gets expensive fast and gravel mulch gets both heavy and expensive--I've spread down about 1500 lbs of gravel in the yard since we bought this house).

Skilled gardeners use a technique called companion planting. The idea behind companion planting is that certain plants in combination lessen pest problems. It's too big a topic to explain in detail here so to cover a couple of basics, geraniums are often used as companions for rose bushes and marigolds are often used as companions for vegetable gardens. One shortcut is to ask the seller what companion plantings they use: an attentive gardener will get excited and offer a detailed answer; an indifferent gardener will stare blankly and not understand the question.

If you're taking out a loan, try to make extra payments (no need to wait till the 1st of the month either, get credit as soon as you can). Make sure you have $ immediately for potential repairs. Also have extra money at closing "just in case". The prices you're giving can fluctuate a little; hopefully in your favor, but you never know.
Thank you especially for the garden tips. The garden isn't fantastic, it's not a jungle but not neat and tidy either. I absolutley hate gardening so as soon as we could afford it we'd be covering it with decking or something anyway.

There is a tree down the end of the garden and the parking space is outside the back gate so will definitley check that.
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