There is no one size fits all answer to the question ‘What should I look for in a property?’
That is because in reality it depends on three key factors – and each of those varies from person to person.
Those factors and the questions arising from what you are looking for in property are:
(a) Are you intent on buying or renting? And if the answer is the former, are you planning to inhabit the property yourself or sub-let it to others?
(b) Your requirements, of course, will be determined by your particular circumstances. In other words, are you single or do you have a partner? If you do, are there young children, teenagers or young adult offspring in your equation? Or an elderly relative? Your answer here will play a big part in deciding how many rooms and how much actual living space you are going to need. Obviously that affects the buying, selling or rental price.
(c) What can you comfortably afford?
That last question applies in every instance, whether you are buying property for your own use or with a view to letting. It is applicable, too, if you wish to rent property as a tenant, for just as owners have a monthly commitment in the form of mortgage repayments to their lender, so too do tenants have a weekly or monthly outgoing in the form of rental payments to their landlord.
Whether you are buying or renting, a good, conscientious, market-informed, on-the-ball estate agent will be fully aware of like-for-like prices in the locality in question. If he/she isn’t, move on and find one who is. Quickly.
Why? Because your estate agent’s ability to value a property at a viable, realistic price and then market it to the appropriate audience is all-important. This is true whatever the nature of the property, because whether it is a house, flat or apartment, the same basic rules apply. Always.
Essential needs and demands vary. A young, single man or woman will have different requirements to a couple with the stereotypical 2.4 children and a dog. And when you then add in two or three ideal-world extras as to what would make their dream home, the buying/renting/letting scenario changes dramatically once again. People differ, ditto the sort of property they want or need.
So as was said at the outset, there is no one size fits all answer to the question. What you are looking for in a property is not necessarily the same as someone else with similar hopes, expectations or means, whether they are buying or renting.
For those attempting to sell – and in our still-uncertain post-Brexit climate that is likely to be more difficult than before – the role and importance of a time-tested and tried estate agent cannot be over-emphasised. Certainly, as things stand in the wake of the UK’s decision to leave the EU, anyone intent on selling is going to need the help of an expert capable of attracting their property’s true sale value.
Currently no-one is quite sure of how things are likely to pan out in the property market.
What is certain, however, is that nobody at this point is suggesting that house, flat or apartment prices are going to rise in the foreseeable future. Indeed, in some areas – notably London and East Anglia – they have been falling steadily in recent weeks.
According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) mid-July survey of UK estate agents and surveyors, there is more pessimism about the state of the property market than at any point since the late 1990s.
In June inquiries from would-be buyers were down for the third month running and there was also a sharp decrease in the number of sales agreed.
Some 36% more respondents to the Rics’ survey reported a drop – the lowest reading since the start of traumatic financial downturn in mid-2008.
It was the third successive month of fewer sales, which is a worrying pattern.
And hand in hand with those glum statistics, the supply of properties coming onto the UK market fell in every region - with the notable exception of Northern Ireland.
That Rics survey concluded: “This is the most negative reading for near-term expectations since 1998.”
For good or ill – and that will depend if you are trying to buy, sell or rent at this juncture - clearly all of these imponderables are going to have an impact on house prices and rental charges.
So if you are aiming to buy, sell or rent, contact Aria for help and information on the state of the market and avail of their expertise.