Looking for your first home is very exciting – so how do you start your search while being practical? Here are some things to help you focus your search and stay on track.
TOP TIP: Keep an open mind. No matter how clear and defined your list of requirements is, compromising is often required when house hunting.
Ask yourself a set of important questions to help you clarify your needs. This list isn’t exhaustive, but it will get you started:
- How far are you prepared to travel to work?
- Are there good transport links?
- Should you be looking for an area which is close to good schools, play areas and a safe community?
- Is there enough entertainment nearby, such as a cinema or theatre?
- How far away are the shops? Can you pop out for milk if needed?
- Is there a high level of crime in the area?
- Does it feel like a safe area at night?
- What is the neighbourhood like, is there a strong sense of community?
- Are there lots of rented properties nearby with temporary neighbours or students?
- How annoyed would you be living on a busy road? Could you get used to it over time?
- Are there any plans to develop the area, such as new transport links or big housing developments?
Ask yourself what you are looking for:
- Do you need a house or could you live in a flat?
- How much storage do you need?
- Do you need two bedrooms, or would just like two bedrooms?
- How important is outside space? Could you maintain a large garden? How much would you use the outdoor space?
- Where will you be able to park your car? Is there a drive or will you be fighting for a space on the road every day? Will you need a permit to park nearby?
- What is the council tax like, can you afford it?
- Could you live with the décor for a few months until you can afford to improve it?
- Is the bathroom functional, can you replace it a few months down the line when your funds are replenished?
- Could you knock a wall down to make a bigger space? Could you add an extension to accommodate the living space you need?
- Does it have the potential to be the right home, even though it may not be at the moment?