Naturally, there are lots of things to think about when buying a house. Many of these things are financial, and we have an entire guide that goes over a few of these top considerations. It’s worth checking that out if you’ve clicked on this post hoping to learn about some of the more financial and investment-focused concerns.
Instead, this post is more about some of the main worries that come up when you’re looking for a home to buy. Generally, you can split the worries into two categories:
- On-site concerns
- Off-site concerns
On-site concerns refer to pretty much everything on the property. This means the house itself, plus the garden, etc. Off-site concerns are to do with anything and everything not on the property. That’s what we’re focusing on today! These concerns are concerns because they can influence your decision when buying a house. So, without further ado, let’s look at the top off-site concerns:
The local area
The location of a property is the number one off-site concern. Some of the other things we’ll speak about might overlap into this point, but we really need to zone in on why and how the location is important.
For starters, the location influences the real estate market. Houses in good locations are more expensive than those in bad locations. Does this mean you should avoid homes that aren’t in great locations? Not necessarily – it depends on what the future holds for those locations. Perhaps they’re not great places to live right now, but they might be about to undergo massive developments. There are countless areas of the country that were once bad locations but have now become good ones.
Moreover, you need to consider the local area in terms of how easy it makes your life. What is the house close to? Are there schools nearby for your kids? Is it easy for you to get to work? Are there shops close to where you live? Ideally, you want to buy a home that makes your life as easy as possible. You don’t want to get in the car and drive thirty minutes to the nearest shop when you run out of milk! You don’t want to spend hours per day taking your kids to school and commuting to work.
The bottom line is that you must pay attention to the area around your home. Firstly, is it going to be a good place to live in the future? Secondly, does it make your life easier?
We said there’d be some overlap, and this certainly does blend into the idea of the property’s location. With transportation links, we’re worried about how easy it is to get around. Are there some good roads that connect you to everywhere you need to be, or are you literally driving through beaten-up country lanes?
Furthermore, what are the public transport links like? Is there a train station nearby – better yet, is there a subway system or some trams? Do you have to walk far to reach a bus stop? All of these questions need to be asked as they can impact your decision when buying a home. It’s not a good idea to purchase a home if you rely on public transport, and there are no stations close to where you live.
Drainage & sewers
You might wonder why this is a concern when buying a house, so let’s elaborate. In an ideal world, you’ll find a property that has good drainage and sewer systems around it. What does this mean? Well, it means that you rarely see clogged-up drains around the property, and you don’t have to deal with the smell of raw sewage because of blockages. Sometimes, you can buy a house, then realize that the sewage system is awful. All you smell is sewage every single day, whenever it rains the road floods because all the drains are blocked – it’s really not a nice place to live.
Of course, there are things you could do on the property to improve the situation. Companies like Swiftdrain can install trench drains around your driveway, helping to divert water away and avoid flooding. But, there’s nothing you can do about a sewage system that smells awful and is poorly maintained. Instead, the best thing to do is look elsewhere and spend some time walking around the area. Visit the place when it rains to see if the sewage drains flood, and you will have a better idea of whether or not it’s worth buying the house.
There’s nothing worse than buying a house, moving in, and discovering that you have awful neighbors. On the extreme end of things, you have bad neighbors that do things you wouldn’t think are possible. But, a more common example of bad neighbors is those that disrespect your property, constantly make a lot of noise, and just generally make you feel uncomfortable. It can be very hard to settle in and live in a house when you have bad neighbors, possibly forcing you to move away very quickly.
How will you know if the neighbors are nice or not before you move in? Again, spend some time in the local area, walking around the neighborhood and getting a feel for things. Try to organize as many visits to the property as you can, giving you multiple chances to listen out for the neighbors to see what they’re like.
A house can be in a phenomenal location, have everything else perfect, but it’s ruined by bad neighbors. Especially if you have a family that you’re trying to raise, and you’re living next to people that constantly shout, swear, and make your life a living hell.
The last off-site concern is a bit of a boring one, yet it is very important. These days, we all need an internet connection. Whether you work from home or just like watching Netflix, you want a connection that’s fast and reliable. So, it is crucial that you do some research to see what the internet connection is like in this area.
Firstly, you want to see what broadband providers are available. The more the merrier, giving you lots of options. Secondly, you want to check if fiber broadband is available – this is the fastest and most reliable type of broadband you can get right now. Lastly, you need to check the average speeds in the area. Ultimately, this will be the determining factor. If the speeds are really slow – and there are frequent reports of downtime by residents – it’s not going to be the best place for you to live. It sounds pretty sad to say, but having a bad internet connection is genuinely a dealbreaker these days.
You’ve now reached the end of this post, which means it’s time for a summary! The biggest off-site worry when buying a house is the location of the property. Are you buying something in an area that’s generally considered a ‘good’ place to live? Alongside this, think about certain elements of the local infrastructure.
What’s the drainage system like – will you always experience flooding or bad sewage smells? Is the transport system good, and is it easy for you to get everywhere you need to be? What is broadband like in the area? All of these questions should be asked, along with whether or not the neighbors are nice. When you have considered all of these concerns, you will be in a much more informed position to make a decision about buying a house.