What is top on the priority list when considering buying a house?  With the pandemic, some of the priorities have changed.  With lockdowns and more people working from home, space and accommodation seem to be first on the list.  This can be confirmed by many real estate agents, including the Buckingham letting agents,  in South East London.   The open spaces and rich, varied landscape of Buckinghamshire have been drawing prospective buyers.

There are many features to look at while thinking of buying a house – a few important ones are given below:

Space and Accommodation:  As mentioned above, there should be enough rooms to accommodate a residence with working space.  Sufficient bedrooms and bathrooms should be available.  Older houses usually have just one bathroom.  A small extra bedroom could be converted into an office or play area.  Since the kitchen is one of the most used places in a house, the layout and facilities should suit your requirements.   More people are looking for larger garden spaces – somewhere to relax outdoors without leaving home.   Car parking would be an added asset.

Location:  You probably have an idea of where you would like to purchase a house.  However, if the same does not work out, a professional estate agent will be able to help you choose “the next best”.   Property in the city suburbs is becoming more popular, where there is additional space, but still offers sufficient commuting time when offices reopen and regular working hours begin.  Supermarkets, shopping areas and hospitals should be within reachable distance.  If it is for a family, then good schools and universities should be checked out.

Safety and Security:  An experienced estate agent will help identify the safety of the area and the type of neighbourhood.  It should be looked at long-term, with a vision of how it could develop in the future.  A corner house could provide more privacy if that should be a priority.


  • Internet connection: A strong broadband and mobile connection is a must, especially if working from home.
  • Insulation, Central heating and Plumbing: The systems should be in good working order.
  • Electrical sockets: Sufficient sockets should be available.
  • Doors and windows: should be secure and with double glazed windows, which are energy efficient and minimise noise.
  • Storage space: would be a benefit.
  • Other fixtures and fittings: should also be checked to ensure they are necessary and working efficiently.

Valuation:  An accurate evaluation of the property is a must and can be obtained through a qualified valuer.  This will include the following:

  • Date of the valuation, an essential factor
  • A formal Letter of Instruction
  • Property details – documents as Contract of Sale or Rates Notice
  • Details of whether the property is legally covered and whether any additional rooms or renovations have been completed with a proper permit and by following the code values.

Home inspection: This is also essential as it can accurately verify the condition of the house. Walls need to be checked for dampness and ceilings for cracks.  Safety issues like air testing, detecting the amount of carbon monoxide and radon can be checked out and mold, which should be got rid of.  This will also help calculate the amount to be spent on repairs and renovation and define the shelf life of the systems in the home.  Should your home buying contract state that if such hazards are detected, you have the option to cancel your offer, then it is also a “way out” if the repairs prove too much to handle or if the seller refuses to carry out the repairs.

Home Insurance:  is a necessity, and the documentation should be completed when the sale contract is handed over as you will be legally bound to buy the property at that time.  Any unforeseen immediate damage can then be covered.  If a mortgage is being taken, then most brokers will insist on home insurance.  The home inspection can confirm the condition of the home so that the insurance company can decide whether or not to agree to the coverage.

Legal Documentation:  A solicitor will be of immense help in ensuring that all the legal aspects and documentation are covered, including the following

  • Sale or Title Deed
  • Registration of land
  • No dues pending
  • Identity of seller
  • A non-encumbrance certificate from the Sub-Registrar’s office
  • Approvals of the construction, including the building with water provision, electricity, fire safety, environmental clearance and sewage.
  • An Occupancy certificate from the seller to avoid penalties being levied.

Budget and Fees:  Of course, your budget is the most critical factor.  This should be calculated not only on the expected expenses but should include an extra amount for unforeseen expenses.  All fees will have to be taken into account, including property cost, valuation fees, registration charges and legal fees.

Conclusion:   Whether the purchase is for investment or as a residential home, the important features mentioned above should be considered. The expertise of a professional real estate agent can help you make the right decision, including information on the resale value of the property, which will be helpful.

Sam Allcock