Buying a Home Checklist | NatWest

Things to consider when looking for your first home

When you fall in love with a property, it's easy to get swept away. But before you start mentally unpacking your things, remember to ask yourself (and the agents) some practical questions to protect yourself in the long run.

Define your criteria:

- Is a garden a must-have or is off-street parking space
  more important?
- How many bedrooms do you need?
- What are the local schools like?
- Do you want a bustling neighbourhood or a quiet one?
- How long will it take you to get to work?
- How far away is the public transport?

From the outside:

- Stand on the other side of the road. What does the roof
  look like? Are any tiles missing?
- Are the windows double-glazed?
- Do the drains and guttering look new or old?
- Is there free parking outside?
- Is it a noisy or peaceful street?
- Does the property have good door and window locks?

If it's a flat:

- Is it freehold or leasehold?
- If it’s leasehold, how long is left on the lease?
- Is there access to the garden?
- Is there’s another flat upstairs or next door, what are
  the noise levels like?
- Who pays for roof repairs? 
- How much is the annual ground rent and other

Inside the house:

- If there is a loft, is it insulated?
- Are there any obvious signs of mould or damp?
- Do any of the rooms need redecorating?
- Are there any visible cracks in the walls?
- What are the floors or carpets like?
- Is there any or enough storage?
- What does the ceiling look like?

Remember to check:

- Is the power on? Test the light switches
- Does the bathroom have an electric shower?
- Do the windows open and close easily?
- Do the taps work?

Ask the agent or owner:

- Do the chimneys work?
- When was the fuse box last checked?
- Has any work been done on the property?
- Are there smoke alarms?
- How old is the boiler and when was it last tested?
- Does the property have full central heating and when
  was it last tested?
- What is the mobile phone and broadband coverage

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