Question:  How does one ensure that the garden is sunny, when house hunting?
Answer:  When deciding to buy a home, never forget to bring a compass with you to assess the amount and timing of sunlight in the garden, in case the sun is not shining on the day.
The sun predictably rises from the east (morning sun), arches high across the south (midday sun), then drops low and sets in the west (evening sun).  In addition, consider the close proximity of any dwellings or mature trees from adjoining neighbours, positioned due south or due west, as this could possibly cast a shadow on your garden, at peak sun times.
Ideally, to ensure you have a sunny garden for that evening barbecue, seek a garden that is either south or south-west facing, well spaced from adjacent neighbours.
Question:  Is a mortgage survey from a Bank or Building Society sufficient when purchasing a home?
Answer:  Most purchasers obtain a mortgage to finance their new home and rely solely on this, to decide if they should proceed to buy.  But be warned, a Mortgage Valuation Report is prepared for your lender to help them decide if your home is one they wish to lend on and if it offers suitable security.
The safest way to reach an informed decision, is to have a professional Survey and Valuation of the property by a qualified member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).  It is like a full ‘health check’ for buildings, that could possibly save you thousands in the future.
Question:  When selling a home, what is included in the sale price?
Answer:  The general rule for Buyers, is that whatever is mentioned in the Estate Agents’ details, is included in the sale price.  Items normally detailed include, integral fitted kitchen appliances, such as oven, hob, but not necessarily fridge/freezer, washing machine or washer/dryer, as these are moveable items.  Fitted wardrobes and gas fires are normally included in the sales particulars.  Items such as fitted carpets, curtains and light fittings are usually excluded, unless specifically mentioned during the course of negotiations.  It is advisable to check the Vendors’ Fixtures and Fittings List from your Solicitor.  If fitted items are removed from wall surfaces, such as book shelves, the owner is under an obligation to make good the wall surfaces, after removal of the item.
Question:  When purchasing a brand new house or apartment, is there any need to have a survey?
Answer:  Purchasing a home is likely to be the largest financial investment you will make in your lifetime.  One would assume that purchasing a brand new home would be defect free and always covered under the Builders’ NHBC Guarantee.  However, why take any risks?  Instructing an RICS Chartered Surveyor to carry out a Condition Report, will be money well spent and will give you peace of mind, that the property is built and finished to the standard expected and that the price you are paying, is a reasonable market price.

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