Strood, Chatham, Gillingham, Rochester and Rainham…the Medway towns have plenty to offer. And whether you are looking for a quiet rural hideaway, or the hustle and bustle of street life, there are five key things house buyers in Medway need to know.Strood, Chatham, Gillingham, Rochester and Rainham…the Medway towns have plenty to offer. And whether you are looking for a quiet rural hideaway, or the hustle and bustle of street life, there are five key things house buyers in Medway need to know.
Know your house-buying budget
When buying a new home, it’s important to strike the right balance between heart and mind. The romance of finding your dream house in Medway should be embraced because what your buying is much greater than the sum of its parts. You’re investing in a future packed with memories. On the flip side, with a myriad of different costs to consider, you also need to be completely honest with yourself about what you can afford. A solid financial foundation is the best platform for those future memories. So, here are a few of the things you will need to consider.
While there is no right or wrong approach, it’s best to start off with at least a 5% deposit. The more you can put down, the more choice and flexibility you’ll have when it comes to choosing a mortgage lender and the best deals.
Mortgage arrangement and valuation fees
While not every lender will charge an arrangement fee, it’s safest to budget for around £1,000. If it comes in under, then you have money spare, which will always come in handy. When it comes to a valuation fee, budget for around £3-500.
Estate agent fees
Most estate agents will charge you either a fixed fee or take the commission route, where you pay an agreed percentage of the purchase price. You need to decide which option is best for you and don’t be afraid to quiz the agent on their fee structure. They should be completely upfront right from the off, with no hidden surprises coming to light further down the track.
“At Paramount we believe is transparent fees. We offer all our clients the choice of paying commission or a fixed fee.
A survey is crucial, to make sure there are no hidden issues with the house you are thinking of buying. And it makes sense to budget for a couple, with a typical survey costing £4-700.
Stamp duty…and the rest
Click here for more about the price of stamp duty and a range of other costs you may encounter.
Be picky when choosing an estate agent
There are lots of estate agents out there, all eager for your business. So, don’t forget that you are in the driving seat. Take time to do your research. From getting basic information on their policy when it comes to fees, to asking around and looking to see if they have for sale or sold signs in the area you are considering.
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and emotion of looking to buy a new home. That’s when you need a cool head; step back and choose two or three agents to have a chat with. It’s always good to talk and you can tell a lot from those first interactions. Look out for warning signs such as: being vague when it comes to fees; promising you the earth, and not taking the time to listen. You should be doing the majority of the talking when it comes to that initial conversation.
When viewing a house, know what to look for
You don’t need to be a surveyor to spot some of the more obvious potential issues when looking at a property. Here’s your starter for 10:
- Are there signs of damp or mould?
- Is the guttering intact and all the roof tiles in place?
- Are the neighbours’ properties in good nick, or do they look run down?
- If there’s an attic, what condition is the wood in?
- Does the water take ages to get hot when you run the tap?
- If there are rugs in strange places, what’s underneath them?
- Can you feel a draft by window sills and ledges?
- Look for cracks in the plaster, however small
- Do all the light switches work?
- Are the radiators in good condition or are there signs of rust?
Found a house you love? Research the local area
We all have different ideas of what makes the perfect home, and the perfect area to live in. For some, a busy, bustling environment with plenty of shops, restaurants and bars within easy reach sounds like heaven. For others, it’s all about the quiet life, surrounded by nature, space and very few neighbours. And everything in-between.
This is where balancing the heart and mind needs to come in again. There’s no point falling in love with a house and pursuing it if the location isn’t right for what you want and need. And even if the location feels right, it’s worth doing some basic research before making a commitment.
- Visit the location during the day and night; people tend to be around more during the evening and night time, so you’ll get a better feel for the overall vibe
- Ask questions on local social media groups; while some opinions may be polarised, this should give you an overall feel for an area
- Check out the local amenities, including shops, schools and doctors
- To really get into the stats and facts, research local and national government data, such as the ONS
- Chat with your prospective neighbours or visit your local pub; most people relish the opportunity to talk about where they live…the good and the bad!
“From busy historic streets to acres of fields and woods on your doorstep, Medway is home to a diverse range of locations and environments.”
Don’t be pressured
If you’ve sorted your budgets, chosen the right estate agent, checked the property over, and the local area, then you have the basic knowledge and insight you need to make a rational, informed decision. If anyone tries to rush the process, then you might want to ask yourself what’s in it for them.
That’s not to say you won’t be put on the spot. When looking to buy a house, situations can change and develop very quickly. You should still make the time to gather your thoughts and chat with those closest to you, to make sure any decisions you make are in your best interests. Ultimately, you are in control.