Covid has changed property buyers’ perceptions of what makes a house or flat a good buy. Here’s an essential property buyer’s checklist. It offers important things to check if you’re considering buying or investing in a property post-Covid.
Is the price realistic?
Property prices have soared over the last few months and weeks. It means it’s more important than ever to consider whether the price you’re offering is sensible.
Think long term: Even if you’re prepared to bash the budget to get the house you want think carefully about future prospects too. If prices drop will the price you’ve paid hold up. Or could you be at the risk of losing money. Generally, good quality sought after properties hold up well even in the bad times. Poor quality ones don’t.
Is it big enough?
Covid has prompted people to realise the importance of space. That applies both to communal space within your home, and to personal space too.
As well as space think layout. Large open plan layouts have become fashionable in recent years. But they’re not ideal when it come to personal space.
According to a Knight Frank survey some 45% of respondents say they are more likely to buy a detached family home than they were prior to Covid-19.
The research suggests that annexes are now a new sought after feature too.
Does it have WFH potential?
WFH or working from home is a development that’s likely to continue even after Covid. More office workers will be spending at least some time working from home. So is there space to WFH? A separate office or study is even better.
While you may not have a need to work from home now or in the future it’s still an important check to make. Like many of the other considerations here factors like this can affect the desirability and saleability of your house in future.
Nearly two-thirds of respondents say they are more likely to work from home post-lockdown. This explains why 64% say a home office is now more important, says Knight Frank research.
Is there room for an extension?
While this has always been a consideration, it’s even more important now. High house prices could mean people are more likely to improve rather than move in future. Space to extend also means space to make changes if our ways of living change in future. Allowing room for development is a way of future proofing your transaction.
Is there a garden?
Gardens ought to go on a property buyer’s checklist for two reasons: They offer usable space. And, in some cases, extension potential. For many years gardens have often been neglected on the list of priorities, other than just potential parking space for vehicles. Post-Covid, the garden could be back as a buying force to be reckoned with.
Is it a flat?
Potential purchasers of flats and apartments should consider their purchase especially carefully post-Covid. Recent experience has shown the market for apartments has been tricky of late. And/or hasn’t soared to the same extent as for houses, perhaps as a result of space considerations.
Buyers shouldn’t assume flats aren’t a good buy in every case. Places where flats are the only or main type of property for space or cost reasons could still have strong flat markets in future. That is, subject to local demand. But flat markets in areas where house are traditionally more popular might not find such favour with buyers.
According to the research, however, demand for apartments has remained largely static. 52% of respondents state their attitude to apartment living has remained the same.
Is the location still, well, well located?
In the past what are considered to be good locations have been those with good road and rail links. And easily reachable to big employment centres. Buyers have generally paid a premium for these. The criteria for what makes a good location could change in future. So it might not be worth paying extra to be near the station or motorway etc.
Locations that are popular because of local schools and amenities likes shops should still hold up however.
At the end of the day, everything has changed but nothing has changed: Property buyers still need to make much the same checks before buying a property as before. It’s just that Covid has changed the way in which these issues need to be considered.