20 Questions To Ask When Looking At A New Home

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There’s a lot of information to take in and consider when viewing a new home and asking the right questions is important. Below are 20 important questions to ask when looking at a new home that you can ask the seller to make sure you get the right house for you:

General questions

1. How long has the property been on the market?

A good opening question and good to know. It also helps to understand any issues they have had with selling the house or, if the house looks perfect and is just on the market, then you know you don’t have much time to make an offer!

2. What are the local facilities like?0134-HAMMERSMITH-CHISWICK-PLACEBUZZ

A great way to find out what is in the area.

3. What exactly is included in the price?

Some sellers like to leave particular fixtures and fittings while others take as much as they can into their new home.

4. How old is the property?

5. What are the neighbours like?

6. What land and perimeters are included exactly?

It’s important to understand who owns the fencing or hedgerows on your boundary. If you have a shared driveway then how is that managed in terms of costs for repairs or dividing up of the parking spaces?

7. Why are you selling the house?

8. What is the internet and phone signal like in the area?office-625892_1280

In the modern era, having good internet and phone connection is becoming increasingly important. It might seem like a minor thing but it could lead to years of frustration. Especially if you have kids or want to run a business from home.

Potential issues

Although some questions such as “Why are you selling the house?” may indicate potential issues, the following questions are more direct and help to identify any extra costs when buying the house:

9. Has any major work been carried out?

10. What guarantees are included?

If the house has a flat roof for example then knowing how long the guarantee is on it and knowing it is still covered under a new owner is important.moor-261171_1280

11. Is the building listed or in a conservation area?

12. Has there been any electrical issues recently?

13. What decorating have you done recently?

It’s possible that a room has been decorated to cover up an issue. It’s good to ask and understand what issue might lurk beyond the fresh paintwork!

14. Ask your nose: Do you smell damp?

This isn’t really a question to ask the seller but it’s important to be wary of any strange smells. A musty smell may be caused by damp. It may not stop you from buying the house but it could help to reduce the price of the house.

Bills and winter

Having a house that is cold in the winter or requires extra costs to fix a boiler can be a potential nightmare. Here are some questions to make sure your winter is warmer and your bills are reasonable:radiator-250558_1280

15. Has there been any problems with the boiler recently?

16. How is the water heated?

17. Are the loft or walls insulated?

18. How much is the council tax – and other bills

This also helps to budget after you have moved house when you will also have the mortgage costs to consider.

The next steps

Sometimes finding the right property at the right time can be a challenge. These final questions will help you when deciding on the next steps:9761-WIMBLEDON-PLSCEBUZZ-WEB

19. Can I view the property again soon?

If you like the property then it should be viewed again. You may even want to bring along a friend or extra family member to get a second opinion when you return.

And finally…

20. When do you need to move out?

Now you have the right questions to ask when looking at a new home! These questions will help you decide if it’s the right property for you.

You may also want to see our previous blogs: 10 Things To Look Out For When Buying A New Home and Choosing The Perfect Property Location For A Better Lifestyle.

Don’t forget to use the PlaceBuzz property search to find the perfect house to view.


Is Summer A Good Time To Buy A House?


With the warmer weather and longer nights it can be much nicer viewing potential new homes during the summer months, but is summer a good time to buy a house?

Here are 3 reasons why we believe buying in the summer could be the right decision:

Better Bargaining

For sellers the sales of houses in the summer months tend to be slower. There are less people searching for houses as people go away on holiday and this means reduced competition for you when bidding for your ideal home. You could save thousands of pounds! Especially if sellers are wanting a quick sale.

Better Viewing

If viewing a new property during the day time is tricky due to work commitments then Garden view with pondviewings during the evenings in winter can have their drawbacks. Lighter evenings during the summer allow you to get a better look at the house and fully take in the views of the garden and the surrounding area. It can also be easier to spot any potential defects that may lurk in darker areas of the house.

Better Moving

boxes piled upFrom frosty fingers to slippy surfaces, moving during the cold rainy months can have it’s dangers. A summer move, however, is not only safer but generally a much nicer time of year to be moving. Kids can still play outside rather than be climbing over boxes as you package up items and there is less risk of electronic items being exposed to rain during transit. There is also less chance of muddy feet as items are moved from one house to another and of course, a warmer house when the front door is left open while moving items in or out of a house.

And once the move is done, you may still have time to air out your new home and add a lick of paint before the colder days start to arrive!

A Balanced View

Buying a house in the summer does have some limitations. When viewing a house it can be harder to gauge how well insulated the house is for colder weather and it’s possible there are slightly fewer houses on the market in your area. You may also be in more of a holiday mood than thinking about moving home. But these limitations shouldn’t hold you back. The possibility of saving thousands of pounds on your next property could be a strong enough reason – and enough to make your summer holiday next year that little bit special!

Search online at PlaceBuzz to find your perfect home this summer.


10 Things to Look Out for When Buying a New Home

A place in the country?A house shouldn’t just be a roof and four walls. It should be more than that, and there’s plenty to consider when finding your perfect home.

Here are 10 important things to consider when buying your next home:

1. Garden

Do you want a south facing garden for those late afternoons in the summer? It will also help with growing fruit, veg or flowers. You may actually not want a garden at all. If you have children or pets, having an outdoor option may be necessary, but sometimes living in the city or having a bigger house for the size of your budget might be more important.

2. Garage

A garage is useful for storing all manner of things (including cars!). If there is suitable parking available on the road or a driveway and plenty of house storage (shed, attic etc) then a garage may not important – although there is often no better place to store tools, bikes and anything else you don’t want lying around the garden or living room!

3. Location

Location is of the utmost importance when buying a new home. How close your property is to shops and services, to relatives, to work – the list goes on. There’s the town versus country debate and how suitable somewhere will be for your children to consider as well, which we have covered in our previous blog Choosing the Perfect Property Location for a Better Lifestyle.

4. Size

It’s not about having the biggest house possible for the cheapest price. You should be asking yourself what size is necessary, what fits around your needs. Is it worth it having an extra bedroom? How many floors do you really need to fit all your stuff in? If you’re planning on needing another room in the future, but don’t need it just yet, it could be worth looking for a larger house, but if all you want is the bare minimum then this needs to be taken into account.

5. Queuing for the Bathroom

When nature calls or you are running late for work and need to use the bathroom there is nothing worse than having to wait. An en suite bathroom or a downstairs toilet can really make life that bit more convenient!

6. Is it Winter-Ready?

Having a broken boiler or no double glazing can make a home much colder in the winter! With English winters lasting much longer than three months, making sure a home is fully prepared for this period is vital. Of course things like triple glazing, fireplaces and insulation can all be installed, but buying a house with these features already in place is much more hassle-free.

7. Kid-Proof

For those of us with children, the entire property needs to be safe for them (and from them!). This includes the garden, which can be full of perils, such as ponds, thornbushes and wayward conkers. The height of a staircase and if it can have a child-proof gate installed, how easy it is to escape outdoors via doors and gates, and all such manner of things must be thought of to ensure your children’s safety.

8. How Much Work is Needed

Sometimes, a newly bought home doesn’t come with all the furnishings you desire and sometimes it comes with a few issues, such as mould or broken gutters. A house you wish to purchase may be in need of much more than simply a good going-over, which could be time and cost consuming. Although it’s unlikely that a property on the market needs extensive work to make it livable, it’s vitally important that you check everything is in order and there aren’t any hidden discrepancies which need work, otherwise you might not be getting what you thought you paid for.

9. Is it fit to be renovated?

While the previous point covered how much work could be needed, whether a property is actually fit to be renovated is an entirely different kettle of fish. If you’ve always dreamt of having a conservatory, for instance,  then you’ll have to make sure the house structure will allow this. Some buildings are not strong enough to withstand renovations whilst others simply can’t be renovated because of features already in place, such as pipes. If you want to make an extension or alteration to the property you wish to buy, making sure it can stand up to this is imperative.

10. Energy

An important aspect of any home is energy, and we all have a preference. You should check whether the house you intend to purchase is reliant upon gas or electricity for its central heating. Gas is of course the cheaper option and provides the same level of heat consistently throughout the day. However, if your purchase is electricity-based and you intend to install gas central heating after you buy your new home, the short term costs are quite high.

 So there you have it, 10 things you should consider and look out for if you’re planning on purchasing a new property. Some elements may be important to you than others. Whatever your criteria, it’s important to remember you’re not simply buying a house, you’re getting a home. If you’re looking to purchase a home, we have a wide range of properties available to browse on our website via our property search engine. Happy hunting!



5 Ways the Election Will Impact your Next House Move

The 7th May 2015 – the day of the General Election and possibly the most important day of the year for the UK as we decide who will shape the nation for the next five years. One topic that’s drawing a lot of attention is the housing market.

“How could first-time buyers be affected?”

“Will the new policies actually be implemented and when?”

“What are the impacts if I plan on renting?”

Property for saleThese are all good questions that you, the voters might be asking and the next government (whether that’s a coalition or minority government, which both seem quite likely) will have to address. Here are 5 ways we believe the upcoming election could impact your next house move.


All information stated is what has been promised by each party thus far and may be subject to change in the future.

 1. The Price of a Home for a First-Time Buyer

Just getting on the property ladder is tough, so all the main parties are proposing action. Whether or not it is enough remains to be seen, but the attempt by the Conservatives to re-introduce right-to-buy is a bold move. Both The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats are offering first-time buyers a Help to Buy ISA whilst the Lib Dems and Labour are proposing to build over a million houses to fulfill demand and keep prices down.

Whatever happens in the election, our verdict is that it will still remain tough for first-time buyers although things may get a little easier over time.

2. Keeping Rent Costs Down

To let signs

If purchasing a house is not for you, then renting has its benefits, but the upcoming election is unlikely to make a huge impact. Only Labour and the Greens are looking to put a cap on rent or increases. Proposals to build more houses may increase availability and keep prices down but one million new houses won’t get built overnight!

3. Renting: For How Long? 

A short term rental agreement can be a worry when you don’t know where you will live in 6 months time. Both Labour, Lib Dems and the Green party have proposals to address this with policies for longer term tenancy agreements.

4. Caring for your environment, in beautiful surroundings

Nottingham - Second house price riser

If you care for the environment and your surroundings, there are policies to please! The Labour Party and Lib Dems both have proposals for ‘Garden Cities’, whilst the Green Party and UKIP also have interesting policies around the protection of Green belt land. 

This doesn’t guarantee there will be more houses in beautiful surroundings but more ‘Garden cities’ and protection of Green belt land all helps to make Britain a beautiful place to live!

5. The Economy

Once the election is over, it could get complicated in terms of who will be in government. Initial uncertainty could have a short term impact on the economy while a minority government with little power will struggle to get its policies adopted unless they are appealing to other supporting parties. This could also be a good thing as policies need to appease a wider audience on not just the rich or the poor.

The next election could also impact interest rates on which mortgage rates are based. We aren’t going to make any predictions on how the economy could be impacted but suffice to say it could be interesting!


Below is a table with some of the key policies we uncovered during our research:


What They’re Promising…
Lib Dem
To Build
1 million
1.5 million
For First-Time Buyers
Help to Buy ISA and
20% discount to first-time buyers under 40
Give priority to local first-time buyers in new housing areas
Help to Buy ISA
In the Rental Market
Long term tenancy agreements in the private sector and Cap on rent increases
Rent to Own policy and Ban landlords letting out poorly insulated homes
Cap rent and introduce longer tenancies
To Introduce
Capital investment in housing
and local authorities given “use it or lose it” powers

New Towns and Garden Cities.

Right to Grow given to communities.
New homes advertised in the UK before overseas.
At least 10 new Garden Cities and
30,000 Rent to Own homes a year by 2020
Bring empty homes back into use
Brownfield agency for grants and loans.
Protection of green belt land and
Referendums on major planning decisions.
New homes exempt from stamp duty on first sale and
Social housing prioritised for locals


Sections with a dash ( – ) are those which have not been announced

Choosing the Perfect Property Location for a Better Lifestyle

The perfect location?

The location of your new home can have a huge impact on your lifestyle and there is plenty to consider. Do you want to live in the beautiful countryside that is quiet and peaceful or in a busy vibrant town with plenty to do? How close should you be to family and relatives and how will your new location impact your children? These are important questions to consider when choosing your property location, which we address below.

Country versus Town

A place in the country?

A home in the country offers the ideal setting with amazing views, the possibility of a good sized driveway and bigger garden – and not to mention a quieter more peaceful way of life. But it does have its limitations.

Or in town?


If you are a city or town person you will appreciate the convenience of being close to shops and restaurants, the gym, GP surgery, train station… and much more! The disparity in high speed internet access is still considerable for many living in a rural setting.

In an ideal world a mixture of rural and town would be perfect but is very hard to achieve and ultimately, you need to decide how much you value peace and quiet versus access to a wider range of services that comes with living near a town or city.

Home is Where the Heart is

Do you want to be near those you love?Being far from loved ones is less-than-ideal for many, especially when children are involved (or as parents get much older). But this has to be balanced against the need to commute to work. Living close to family may not always be ideal if it involves long daily commutes which can be stressful and expensive in the long run.

Distance from work may be less of an issue if you live close to a train station although this will incur higher travel costs. If you need assistance figuring out a route, the Commute Search on our main website will help.

The Kids are Alright

Is it right for the kids?

If you have children (or plan to!) then the quality and access to nearby schools is important. Towns tend to have more choice of schools whereas schools in the country tend to have small class sizes, providing a more personal learning experience.

The rural versus city question is once again an important topic when it comes to kids. While there may be sports centres and play-areas in urban locations so the kids don’t get bored, a rural home is likely to be larger and have garden space, possibly nearby fields to be active in.

Does the perfect location exist?

To cut straight to the answer, for many people it’s no. There is always a trade-off to be made but this doesn’t mean that decisions over location should be ignored.

When moving house, don’t just think about the house itself and it’s interior. Property location can have a HUGE impact on your lifestyle in terms of family, friends, work and activities that you love to do.

With this taken into account, you’re ready to start searching for your new home. Why not use our search engines to find that perfect location?



Six in 10 home buyers over 60 yet to buy their dream home

  • More than a third (38%) of young first time buyers would look to move again within two years

London, 18 November 2014 – Almost six in 10 (58%) homeowners over the age of 60, and approaching retirement, have yet to own their dream property, according to a survey carried out by property search engine Placebuzz.com. Home ownership is an aspiration for many Britons, and we all dream of buying that perfect property and putting down roots. But the gap between the dream and reality has never been wider as UK property prices have skyrocketed over the past 15 years.

Although more than three quarters (78%) of those homeowners polled said they aspired to own their dream property, two thirds (66%) of homeowners said they have never been in a position to, with affordability cited as the main reason.

For the younger generation, that first home is not about finding their dream property, but more about simply getting onto the property ladder, whatever it takes. And more than a quarter (27%) of those young first time buyers polled, aged between 21-30, admitted that once they got their foot on the ladder, they planned to move again within two years.

They were willing to be flexible on the location, condition and type of property to achieve their objective. It shows that for many first time buyers their first property purchase is a practical rather than an aspirational purchase.

Competition between buyers remains a major stumbling block when it comes to a property purchase, and with intense competition for the best properties in many parts of the country, people are willing to go to any lengths, well almost any, in order to avoid missing out on a property.

Almost half (47%) of respondents said they’d be happy to take part in a sealed bid process while a third (32%) admitted they had or would make an offer after only one viewing. Almost three quarters (72%) said they would go back to renting or live with family members to ensure they were chain-free when they started the buying process.

Andy Hatoum, co-founder of Placebuzz.com, comments: “Home ownership will always be an emotive subject for the British public. Property is more than just bricks and mortar.

“Most of us dream of owning that perfect property one day, whether a quaint cottage in the country, a city centre pad or a family house down by the coast, but the booming UK property market, has dashed the hopes and dreams of many people.

“It’s fair to say that many homeowners are now probably resigned to the fact that their dream home may always be out of reach.”


Fill out our survey and Win!


We’d like to take 2 minutes of your time to complete our online survey to help us understand our users and build a better site.

To make it worth your while, we will automatically enter you into our competition for a chance to win a £100 or £50 IKEA voucher.

Terms & Conditions:

– The prize is a prize of a £100 IKEA Gift Card for the best entry and a £50 IKEA Gift Card for the runner-up.
– Entrants must be a resident of the UK.
– Entrants must be at least 18 years of age to enter.
– One entry is allowed per person.
– Only the winning entrant can be a recipient of the voucher.
– The winners will be selected from all valid survey entries, tweets and Facebook comments.

– The competition will run from 9/09/2014 until 31/10/2014 and the winner will be announced on 04/11/2014
– If a winner does not respond within 7 days of the winner announcement, the prize will be allocated to another entrant.
– This competition is not open to employees of Placebuzz or any associated companies or their immediate families.
– This competition is run independently by Placebuzz on their chosen social networking platforms and is not endorsed by, associated with or sponsored by Twitter, Facebook or IKEA.
– Placebuzz reserves the right to close the competition early.
– Placebuzz can duplicate any entries into the competition on any of their hosting platforms i.e. website or social media accounts.


#PointlessPropertyPurchase Competition: Win a £100 or £50 IKEA Gift Card


Move over summer, it’s Back to School time! Students will be flocking to the UK from all over the world, going on manic shopping sprees to find various items for their new digs; be it cutlery, crockery, bed linen or even a poster or two…

What we’d like to know is whether you’ve ever bought something for a new place with loads of ideas for what you’re going to do with it…

And then when you finally move in… NOTHING comes of it. It could be that smoothie maker  you dreamed of getting your 5-a-day with or that bedside cabinet you thought would really improve the feng shui. We like to call this a #PointlessPropertyPurchase.

We’re so intrigued by your Pointless Property Purchases, in fact, that we’re offering a prize for the best ones in a competition; we have a first prize of a £100 IKEA Gift Card up for grabs and a runner-up prize of a £50 IKEA Gift Card to make up for that pointless purchase of yours!

There are two ways to enter:


1. Follow us on Twitter (@placebuzz)
2. Tweet us your #PointlessPropertyPurchase, making sure you include the hashtag (and a photo if possible!)


1. ‘Like’ us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/placebuzz
2. ‘Like’ the competition post and comment with your #PointlessPropertyPurchase
(and a photo if possible!)

We’re looking forward to reading (and seeing) them!

Terms & Conditions:

– The prize is a prize of a £100 IKEA Gift Card for the best entry and a £50 IKEA Gift Card for the runner-up.
– Entrants must be a resident of the UK.
– Entrants must be at least 18 years of age to enter.
– One entry is allowed per person.
– Only the winning entrant can be a recipient of the voucher.
– The winners will be selected from all valid tweets and Facebook comments.

– The competition will run from 9/09/2014 until 17/10/2014 and the winner will be announced on 20/10/2014
– If a winner does not respond within 7 days of the winner announcement, the prize will be allocated to another entrant.
– This competition is not open to employees of Placebuzz or any associated companies or their immediate families.
– This competition is run independently by Placebuzz on their chosen social networking platforms and is not endorsed by, associated with or sponsored by Twitter, Facebook or IKEA.
– Placebuzz reserves the right to close the competition early & to change the T&C’s at any point during the competition.
– Placebuzz can duplicate any entries into the competition on any of their hosting platforms i.e. website or social media accounts.


Summer Competition: WIN a £50 Amazon Gift Card

Placebuzz CompNothing goes better with summer than shopping, so we thought this was a great time for a competition. Our prize is a £50 Amazon Gift Card that can be used to get some pretty cool summer essentials!

There are two ways to enter:

1. Follow us on Twitter and RT this tweet: http://ow.ly/z7vZg

2. ‘LIKE’ our Facebook Page

Good Luck!

Placebuzz competitions have the following Terms and Conditions:

-The prize on offer in this competition is 1 x £50 Amazon Gift Card
-There is only one entry per username
-Users can enter via Twitter & Facebook
-Entrants must be at least 18 years of age and must be a resident of the UK
-The competition is not open to employees associated with Placebuzz, and their associated companies or their immediate families.
-Prizes may not be transferred to any other person and there are no cash alternatives or alternative prizes available
-Winners will be randomly selected from all valid tweets, retweets and Facebook Page ‘Likes’
-The competition winners selected must respond within 7 days of confirmation to claim prize
-Placebuzz competitions are not endorced or sponsored by Facebook or Twitter.
-Competition end date is Thursday 31st July 2014 & the Winner will be announced on Friday 1st of August 2014
-Placebuzz reserves the right to close the competition early.


Want to live on ‘Prince George Street’? Properties command a royal price tag


  • Properties on a street bearing the name of Prince George are on average 16% more expensive than the local average
  • Buyers can expect to pay a premium of £110,187 for the privilege – 63% higher than the UK average house price 
  • In London, properties with the regal address are a third (33%) more expensive than the average house price in the capital 

Buy property on a street bearing the name of Prince George and you can expect to pay almost a fifth (16%) above the average for that postcode, according to new data by leading property search engine, Placebuzz.com [1].

The research, coinciding with Prince George’s 1st birthday on July 22, also reveals that a property with the little prince’s moniker costs on average £110,187 more (63%), than the average UK house price[2].

According to Placebuzz.com figures, properties on Prince George streets in London are 26% more expensive than average property prices in the same postcode, and a third (33%) pricier than the average London property[3].

For example, buyers purchasing property on Prince George Road in London’s trendy Stoke Newington will pay £599,464, which is almost 50% more than the average house price in the N16 postcode.

And, in south-west London, the trend continues. Buying a property on Prince George’s Road in Wimbledon costs £725,491, 28% more than the average SW19 home.

This gulf in price is not unique to London. In Portsmouth, houses on Prince George Street are on average £223,920, over a quarter more (26%) than the cost of a home with a P01 postcode (£177,860).

The following table shows a sample of Prince George streets across the UK:

Street City Average price of a house on a ‘Prince George’ road (£) Average price of a house in the same postcode (£) % Difference compared to average house in same postcode % Difference compared to UK average
Prince Georges Road, SW19 London £725,491 £567,430 + 28% + 322%
Prince George Road, N16 London £599,464 £404,611 + 48% + 248%
Prince George Avenue, N14 London £509,111 £378,652 + 34% + 196%
Prince George Street, PO1 Portsmouth £223,920 £177,860 + 26% + 30%
Prince George Drive, DE22 Derby £179,786 £169,654 + 6% + 5%
Prince George Street, ST10 Stoke onTrent £179,495 £160,566 + 12% + 5%
Prince George Avenue, SR6 Sunderland £173,000 £163,751 + 6% + 1%
Overall Average £281,222 16% 63%

Andy Hatoum, co-founder of Placebuzz.com, says: “By George! Clearly, buyers have to fork out a lot more for the privilege of living on a road steeped in royal history. The inflated price tag associated with living on a road named after the latest addition to the royal family is almost double in Portsmouth. The baby Prince is already boosting sales of baby clothes – does his regal influence extend to the property market too? It would seem so.”