For most people the single biggest outlay they make in life is the purchase of a property. As with any purchase, the buyer must ensure the product is up to the expected standard. However due to the current low levels of stock many potential purchasers often forget the basic guidelines.
Ian Hutchinson of Winters Property Management gives his view on what to look out for when purchasing a property.
“In the past year we have seen many first time buyers and first time investors entering the market," he says. "Most purchasers are savvy in their approach to purchasing properties but there are certain things that can be overlooked. New landlords should be familiar with the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses ) Regulations 2017. These regulations set out the minimum standards for rental properties, when buying they need to ensure that any works required to get the property up to these standards are costed prior to purchase.
"Most investors are aware that Galway city is currently in a rent pressure zone, which means that rents can increase by a maximum of four per cent per annum. However many are unaware that the current or last rent on the property is the base that future rents are calculated. So if a property has been rented under the going market rate a new owner cannot simply increase the rent to match the going rate. Investors should always request the last rent on a property whether it is vacant or not.
"With the lack of new builds in the Galway area most first time buyers are purchasing second hand houses. It is essential that any purchaser arrange for a fully qualified engineer to carry out an inspection of the property to ensure its structural integrity. This is very important given some of the issues we have seen arising in relation to fire stopping and water ingress on some Celtic Tiger era buildings. Sound professional advice is money well spent when it comes to purchasing a property.”