When buying a property, whether it is your first, second, third etc, it is full of lots of stresses and challenges. Of course, there is so much excitement surrounding finding that dream home, trust me I know as we are in the process of doing it right now, that I thought I would share with you some tips we have learnt along the way.
List Your Prioritise
On Location, Location, Location, Kirsty and Phil are constantly saying that you will need to compromise no matter what your budget is. Listing what your priorities are will help you to work out whether something is more important. Is location top priority? Size? Large garden? Driveway? Eat-in kitchen? A fireplace? I mean the list can go on, but you can understand how long it can get especially when you are factoring in preferences. For us, I always wanted an open plan living, dining, kitchen but came to realise that was a want and instead switched my mind to thinking of a properties potential. Could I extend to get it or could I have a really small but top-notch kitchen? This want fell down our list as well as having a garage and what came out on top was the location. We have since put an offer in on a house in the perfect location which has a tiny kitchen, but it is still a dream home where we can see ourselves living for a very long time.
View Properties Before Ruling Them Out
Lots of people, including myself at one point, tend to look on Rightmove or other house buying sites and crossing off houses before actually viewing them. I would strongly advise seeing lots of properties even if you think it is not right for you. We went to see a bungalow that was creeping up to the top of our budget and needed lots of work doing. By viewing it, even though I initially thought it won’t be for us, we got to see the space, the charm, how the rooms flowed and also how much potential the property had. I am very strong on getting a feel for a house and you can’t do that sitting at home behind a computer. We really wanted the property but missed out on it as another buyer came along and offered the asking price. That’s the other thing about viewing properties, you get to understand when a house is worth the asking price. As the location was a top priority for us we made sure we viewed every single house coming onto the market in that area in our price range. Therefore when we saw the house we have an offer in on, we knew they were asking a fair price.
Big Isn’t Always Better.
You need to figure out how many rooms you require to fit your family/growing family comfortably and for the lifestyle you want. Having a massive house might be great as a dream, but in reality when you put a large price tag on it, how many of those actual rooms would be used? By figuring this out will also help when it comes to prioritising the list of wants and needs. I would be happy to have a tiny master bedroom for a large entertaining space as that is where as a family we spend most of our time. Also, I could compromise on the size of the garden if we lived in the location we wanted. Plus my niggle about having a massive house and garden is that you have to clean and maintain it. Would you have the time to do that?
Stick To Your Budget
You have a budget for a reason, which is the amount of money you can afford to spend or the amount your mortgage lender has agreed to lend you. You know that you can’t go over that figure so do not look at properties that are in the next band because you would be massively overstretching, plus you might see something that you think is perfect but in no way able to afford it. That’s not a great feeling so do not do that to yourselves. Only look at properties that are slightly over if there is something you want to see, but speak to the estate agent before doing so to see if the seller has indicated that they would be happy to come down in price or take an offer. Also make sure the loan is pre-approved as well as having your deposit in place as this will help with the buying process because you do not want to miss out to another buyer.
Don’t Give Up.
Finding your dream home does not happen overnight, or in a week, or even in a month. If it does then congratulations that was quick. Depending on your price range and search area there might be a limited amount of properties coming onto the market every week. We were in a situation where the location we were looking was 1 village. Yes, just 1. Properties in it do not come on the market very often, but we didn’t know what we wanted until we had been looking for 5 months and seen many houses and had visited many villages. We had already seen a house we liked but missed out, so when another house came on the market, it was we were in the right place, at the right time, and made the right offer. If you miss out on something or feel like it’s taking forever, just don’t give up and still look at properties because that dream home will spring up when you least expect it, and when it does you will know for certain it is the right place for your family.
There are many more other tips but these were the 5 that really helped us when finding our dream home. We are still very much in the early stages of it so I have everything crossed because it is not final until you have those keys in your hand. So, when we have finalised things I can raise a glass and also share our new home with you all.