Buying a house can be an exciting and stressful time, from being a first time home buyer to a seasoned mover, everyone around you will be providing you with what to look out for when buying that dream home. There are obvious elements such as checking the double glazing, making sure the vendors have protected your investment with probate insurance and making sure there’s enough kitchen cabinet space for all your baking equipment.

However, some elements are often overlooked by almost every home buyer and if you don’t, you could regret your purchase which can lead to a rather dismal home life. Below, we list these factors to help you make the right decision when looking for your next home.

Internet Access

The internet is crucial to modern living and having a strong connection in your own home is more important than ever. Without it, we can’t watch our favourite streaming services, properly link smart speakers and even miss out on vital messages on our phone.

Just because your current broadband provider can give you fantastic speeds where you currently live, it doesn’t mean they can do the same in a different postcode. 

Before instructing a solicitor on a potential purchase, check with your provider and see what they can offer. If they can’t offer you what you need, see if a competitor can. With increasing numbers of us working from home for the foreseeable future, a good connection is crucial to good quality of life.

You should also check your mobile phone signal and 4G connections, when viewing a property, walk through all the rooms and call/text at the same time. You don’t want to discover after completion that you can only make phone calls in just a fraction of rooms in the house.

Your Mortgage Lender

Many buyers receive their mortgage offer in principle and think that it’s a done deal with their lender. However, not every property is going to be on their list of acceptable dwellings.

Mortgage lenders need to know that their investment is secure and just because you have fallen in love with a home, that doesn’t mean they will too.

Even if you have your offer in principle, this can be retracted if the lender flags the property as being a risk. You may not find out about this until far into the future, after having spent time, money and effort on the conveyancing process. 

Not being able to obtain a loan for the property means you may have to pull out and lose out on cash.

Check with your mortgage lender before placing an offer on a property, many common concerns for lenders are leases of less than 80 years, properties above shops and buildings created of anything other than traditional bricks and mortar. However, this varies between lenders and even between products they offer, so always check first.

Restrictive Covenants

All properties come with title deeds held by The Land Registry, some of which have restrictive covenants added into them.

These are stipulations or rules as to what you can and can’t do in the property and there is no end to the possibility of what these could be.

Typically, older buildings, leaseholds and ex-council properties will have these rules written into them but you should always check every property you are interested in. Title deeds can be obtained by anyone from The Land Registry for just £3 per property but the current owner should have a copy to show you as well.

You can ask your solicitor to have a look at these as well as they are often worded in ‘legal speech’ so may need some interpretation. While these restrictive covenants are usually nothing major, they may be preventing you from using your home as you wish.

Common restrictive covenants include the prevention of satellite dishes, the ban of keeping animals and not being allowed to run a business from the grounds of the property.

These restrictions can be removed by The Land Registry after completion, however, this comes at a cost and there is no guarantee that they will agree.

Building Works

Many people nowadays build on and extend their properties and unless you are considering buying a new build, it is likely the home you are looking at has had some work done on it.

However, you need to check if any conversions were done with the correct planning permission, regardless if they were carried out by the current owner or previous ones.

Failing to obtain the correct planning permission could have serious consequences for you once you’ve moved in, even if you had nothing to do with the changes in the first place! Governing bodies could take you to court, find you and even force you to tear the structure down.

If the vendor can’t produce the correct planning permission documents, make sure they have taken out planning permission indemnity insurance.

With the above in mind, you should be able to take some proper thought and action when buying a home to avoid any unforeseen consequences and make sure you live happily and comfortably in your new purchase.