February 26, 2024

Property Advice for Prospective Buyers

It’s an exciting time, deciding that you are ready to move house, but it can also become quite a daunting task if you’re not sure what to look for in a property, knowing the right questions to ask and ensuring you have all the right information to hand will make it easier.

Whether you are considering an old property or a new build, we’ve put together some key advice that will hopefully make the preparation process easier for you.

Be Prepared:

  • Before you arrange to view a new house, it makes sense to research the area where you are looking to buy and check that it’s right for you.
  • If you can, bring someone with you to view the house – a second opinion will always help.
  • View the property in daylight and take your time as you move through all of the rooms and explore the outside space.
  • Try not to view too many houses in one day as it will be difficult to remember what you liked and disliked about each one.

The Property:

  • During the viewing check that the rooms are big enough for your needs. Think realistically about how you will use the space and remember to consider the size of furniture you have and that you hope to bring with you.
  • Check that the property has enough storage space for you and all of your possessions as well as considering any needs you may have in the future.
  • As you move around the property, check the standard of finish.
  • Make sure to ask the selling agent to outline clearly what is included in the sale so there are no surprises.
  • If you can, try to find out approximate utility costs for heating, electricity, and local rates. You might be amazed about the running costs.
  • Consider how soundproof and well insulated the house is, and if you’re looking at an older property be on the lookout for any damp patches or rotten window frames.
  • Are the windows and doors, single, double, or triple glazed as this will save you money on your energy bills?
  • Does the property have PV solar panels or an electric vehicle charging point included as standard?
  • Ask for the EPC rating and airtightness score as this will give you a much better understanding of how energy efficient the property really is.
  • Finally, how does the house feel to you? Ask yourself does it feel like it could be your new home?


  • As we suggested earlier, make sure you do your research into where the house is located and the surrounding area – is it somewhere where you can see yourself living?
  • Kerb appeal – how attractive is the outside area of the house and can you maintain the garden / outdoor space without too much effort and cost.
  • Are there busy roads nearby? Whilst good for transport links it’s always worth considering potential road noise.
  • What about local amenities? Depending on your needs, are there schools nearby, parks, sports clubs, shops, public transport?
  • Check the aspect of the house – does it get enough light – it’s worth walking around both the inside and outside to gauge what rooms get the best light and how the garden is affected – especially if you like to be out in the garden enjoying the sunshine… when it decides to appear in Northern Ireland!

Finally, if you like the property, make sure you arrange a second viewing as you will be able to double check the rooms and maybe notice things you didn’t pick up on during your first visit.

Have you considered viewing our latest housing development, Lancaster Park in South Belfast?

At Fraser Millar, we pride ourselves on being the only large-scale property developer in Northern Ireland to specialise in Passivhaus certified homes. Finished to an extremely high standard, our Passivhaus homes tick a lot of the points outlined above, and you would be hard pushed to find an more energy efficient home!

Using the Passivhaus LEB building model, our homes at Lancaster Park greatly exceed mandatary building regulations and energy performance, delivering superior building standards, with excellent internal comfort, constant fresh air, and quiet interiors. The added bonus is that because the houses are so energy efficient, they need less energy to heat them, saving you money on your utility bills!

If you’re thinking of buying in Belfast, plan a visit to our Lancaster Park show house and see the benefits of Passivhaus living for yourself.