Getting on the housing ladder is a huge step (pardon the pun) towards our future. Buying a home is the biggest purchase you will make in your lifetime. So making sure you get it right is vital. It’s not like you can return your house to the shop!
We’ve pulled together the a simple guide to help make the process a little easier and hopefully get you that little bit closer to moving you into your first home.
Research The Area
This may sound obvious. But knowing an area and understanding an area are two different things. Safety should be high on your list of wants in your street or apartment. Go through newspaper articles or find social media forums to give you an understanding of what really goes on every day.
Regardless of whether you have children or you think you might hear the patter of tiny feet in the distant future, schooling should feature high on your priorities. Get to know the local schools and colleges checking out their reports and seeing how the pupils achieve. Jumping in your car and visiting schools or finding an online group of local parents will help you build a balanced understanding of the standard of education in your area.
Anyone who needs to commute should pay particular attention to the road network surrounding their favoured location. Check out local accident hotspots and find out if there are simple alternative routes should any road closures happen. What could be worse than living in a street that only has one choice of access leaving you stuck at home or constantly late for the office!
Check out this article on other pointers for buying a new home
Understand the Itinerary
When you view a house, look further than the potential. As you walk around the house take notes of any systems your house comes with. From boilers to white goods. Don’t forget the security system. If you see an ADT alarm on the front, get online and read ADT alarm reviews to understand what system you have. Do the same with boilers and heating systems and showers. Check out if there are any known faults or concerns with the products in your potential new home. Knowledge is king and being aware of any potential issues before you part with your money will give you something to negotiate with or a reason to feel confident. It will also give you a good idea of the previous owners care of their home.
Don’t Be Blinded By Bad Design
Everyone has their own idea of home style. Some put more thoughts into it than others. When you walk into a potential new home don’t get put off by the contents or layout of the previous owner. Think big. As a homeowner you have a long time ahead of you to really turn this house into something to be proud of. Walls can be removed. Carpets can be changed for floor boards. You need to look beyond what is there and focus on the potential of the house. If you aren’t confident in your own vision, take a friend with a keen eye for design. Focus hard on the area, does the size of the property fit your brief? Is the garden big enough? Those are the things that aren’t easy, or sometimes possible, to change. If everything else is perfect, the area and the price, remember a house is just a shell. Think outside of the box and work out how to build your dream space. Viewing empty houses is often easier than when the current occupants are still there. But remember, you aren’t buying them too! Just be a little sensitive if they are showing you around their cat themed living room and try to quietly consider the potential.
Get Professional Advice
From loans to home improvements you need to assemble a team of people who can give you the best advice for you. Start by finding a friend you trust. You need someone who can see things clearly but has your best interests at heart. Real estate Agents work on commission to make them work hard for their money. Set boundaries and stick to them, don’t let them convince you that an extra bedroom will come in really handy. Or that another few thousand will get you a house with a bigger garden.
A pragmatic financial advisor is your best friend when it comes to buying a house. Be honest about your financial habits and above all listen to their advice. They have no agenda other than making sure you can live within your means.