A surveyor's report on a property is essential reading for any interested investor, covering crucial structural and architectural considerations. However, there's far more to any property than the sum of its most practical parts; the design, surrounding landscape and climate will all impact on both your quality of life and the re-sale value. In addition to careful examination of the building's construction, assessing these ten elements should help you make an informed decision when home buying.
1. Original features
Antique ironmongery, Victorian or Edwardian hearths, exposed wooden beams and bespoke tiling are generally thought of as assets, with buyers willing to pay up to a 30% premium for them. They may be expensive to maintain or restore, so if you are searching for a period estate, ensure that each historic feature has been properly looked after.
2. Smart home technology
A home with an automated thermostat, smart security system or built-in energy management is one that is well-prepared for the future. If the property you're interested in doesn't already have this kind of technology, explore your options for quick and easy installation.
At each property viewing, assess whether the floor plan enables logical and easy movement between different rooms or parts of the property, with each space naturally leading on to the next.
Light, airy rooms conserve electricity, improve your mood and present your interior design advantageously. When buying real estate, consider how the property's orientation and window placement will maximise or minimise natural light.
5. Outdoor areas
If the house has a spacious garden or sun deck, check that it's easily accessible from inside. French doors, conservatories and verandas can all help to capitalise on the benefits of a pleasant outdoor space.
Adequate garage space, parking space and the width of the driveway are all important points, ensuring that driving in and out of the property isn't unnecessarily complicated for you or your guests. If your property is located in an area that typically sees heavy snowfall each winter, shorter driveways may be preferable to long, winding entrances.
7. Lot gradient
The plot's gradient will drastically impact any architectural developments you, or a future buyer, might hope to make. Although a sloped garden may be aesthetically pleasing, it can also limit your options for expansion and will require careful landscape design.
A home's first responsibility is to protect you from the elements, so carry out thorough tests on the house's heating and cooling systems. Double or triple glazing, air conditioning and central or underfloor heating can all play a significant role in keeping your home at a comfortable temperature all year round.
9. Room sizes
Although spacious homes are typically more valuable, a well-designed property should have a harmonious balance between smaller, more intimate rooms and large, open-plan spaces for entertaining.
Last but by no means least, the perfect property must also be in the perfect location. Conduct extensive research before investing in your chosen area, familiarising yourself with tax rates, development plans or applications, transportation links and comparable house prices. For families with children, local schools may also be a key consideration.
For more expert guidance on buying a home, or to engage our assistance in your dedicated search, visit Engel & Völkers online or in-store.