Finding a new home for you and your family can be tricky. There’s certainly an awful lot to consider. Buying a house is expensive, both regarding house prices and the associated costs. It’s also incredibly stressful. So, it’s certainly not something that you want to do time and time again. This means it’s a great idea to prepare yourself. To have a really good think about what you want from a home, where you want to live, and what you need. Then, you can narrow your search right down and go into viewings fully prepared. This will make finding your dream home much easier.
Our search checklists are very personal. What you are looking for very much depends on your family, your lifestyle and your situation. But, here are a few of the things that you should consider when making it.
The first thing that you need to decide on is a budget. Fail to think about this carefully, and you’ll start looking at houses out of your price range. This can lead to disappointment, applying for a mortgage that you are unlikely to get or leaving yourself with repayments that you can’t afford. Set your budget, taking into account mortgage fees, the cost of surveys, conveyancing searches, legal fees and stamp duty. Then, be strict with yourself. Only look at homes that you are likely to be able to afford.
When it comes to location, it’s important to realise that average house prices aren’t the same all over the country. In fact, some areas are significantly more expensive than others, and even areas within the same town can vary massively from street to street. Your dream location and your budget might not match, and it’s important that you find this out very early on.
Write a list of your ideal areas, then have a look at the homes currently on the market and recent sale prices. Try to find something that works. Then, think about the amenities in the area, distance from work and schools, the quality of the schools and their Ofsted reports, public transport links and other attractions. Then, when you view houses, be a bit more specific. Think about the neighbourhood. Spend some time there at different times of day to get a feel for the atmosphere, think about how busy the roads are and how noisy it’s likely to be. Remember, you can change things in the house and add to the décor, you can’t move it to a different street.
How many bedrooms do you need? Is your family likely to grow in the future? Do you want a dining room, or would you prefer an open plan living area? Do you need an office? What about storage space? Most of us would quite like a spare room, but a four-bedroom house can be significantly more expensive than a three so think about what’s important. If you want a large house, you might want to look further outside cities or in less trendy areas to get more house for your money.
Some people like modern homes with all of the up to date luxuries. Others prefer traditional homes with classic features. You might want a combination of the two, and there’s no reason that you can’t add traditional or modern features to any home.
But, the age of the house is more important than its appearance. Older homes are more likely to need expensive repairs, they may not be as well insulated, and it can affect your insurance premiums. On the other hand, newer homes often don’t have the same quality workmanship and may need work much sooner. An in-depth survey can help you to find out more about a specific house.
The direction the house faces might not seem very important. But, if you plan to live there for a long time, it’s worth thinking about. Do you want sun on your garden in the daytime so that you can work outside, play with the kids or even dry your washing? Think about which way the house faces and when it gets the most light. You could even use a compass app when you view if you’re not sure.
A garden often appears on peoples wish list. But, think about how much time you want to give it. A large garden can be fantastic, but it can take maintenance to keep it from falling into disrepair. Are you willing to do this or would something smaller and easier to look after suit your lifestyle?
If you drive, or plan to in the future parking is a consideration. A home with a garage or drive can bring your car insurance costs down and ensure your car is safe. But, is it worth losing an otherwise perfect home over? Decide just how important it is to you.
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