Summer Sales - Advice From Our Fine & Country Team

Summer is peak season for property purchasing. Richard Carpenter from Fine & Country St. Neots considers how sunshine shouldn’t steal your senses when viewing a property.

It is summer and you’re buying a house. No doubt you’ve looked at the pros and cons of buying in different seasons, particularly the financial aspects, but with a larger selection of properties on the market in spring and summer, there are more opportunities to find your dream home. Without viewing a property at different times of the year, a shot of imagination and some attention to detail is required to look at the small details and see if it’s a dream house for all seasons.

Naturally, there are a number of things to be considered with a viewing in any season, but there are also some points that are particularly pertinent for summer.

Starting from the outside, gardens usually look their best in summer. The south facing outdoor area that makes the most of the summer sun can be particularly alluring. Take note of the type of plants in the garden and the height. Deciduous trees may open up an undesirable aspect in winter, so check to see what you will be viewing when that lush foliage has dropped. On the other hand, tall evergreens that provide a shady nook in summer may block that all-important winter light when the sun is lower. With this in mind, it’s worthwhile taking a compass to check the orientation of different parts of the house.

Summer weather can also mask damp problems. Be vigilant looking for any tell-tale signs of mould or damage caused by condensation. Importantly, use all of your senses. Open cupboards and check for the distinctly stale smell associated with dampness.

If possible, view the property on a wet or grey day, as well as a sunny day. The difference can be astounding. It also gives you the chance to check guttering and downpipes while they are in use. Look up at ceilings and note any cracks and stains that might indicate dampness. Don’t assume peeling wallpaper is merely a shoddy job. Take a close look for signs of moisture or other hidden problems.

Take particular note of the heating and ask for it to be turned on and turn lights on and off to get an idea if the lighting will be adequate on winter days. This can give you an indication of the possible cost of heating and lighting bills.

Visit the property at different time of day as well. Early morning when commuters have gone to work will be more peaceful. How busy does the restaurant across the road become in the evenings? Is loud music going to shatter your peaceful aperitifs on the balcony? Will street parking become an issue for either yourself or visitors? With summer comes school holidays and everyday traffic is often reduced in volume.

For those with children, summer buying is a great option. It means children can be involved from the initial stages and have time to settle into a new environment and make friends before the beginning of the school year. If you don’t have children some research into the quality of the local schools won’t go amiss, as the catchment area can significantly affect a property’s resale value.

While buying a house can be an emotional experience, it is first and foremost a business transaction and it is important to keep that in mind. You might love the house at first sight, but go in-depth before you make that final decision.

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