So you’re on the hunt for the property of your dreams? Whether you’re a new buyer or on your third home, these are the purchases we all want to get right. House hunting can be lots of fun, yet it can also get a bit stressy (it’s a bit of a rollercoaster really)! To help you keep those stresses minimal, follow these seven handy tips to your dream home.
1 . List your must-haves
Before you start looking for the property of your dreams, you need to sit down and determine what your ‘must-haves’ are. These are the real deal-breakers, whether it’s must have a garden, must have a large living room or must be close to a train station. Whether you’re looking for luxury apartments or a modest cottage, you need to know exactly what you want. This way it’s less likely you’ll view houses that are inappropriately matched to your needs.
2 . Remain realistic
Alas, we all have to be realistic when we are house hunting (unless we are billionaires that is)! There’s no point looking at houses that are way out of your price range, or choosing something which leaves you struggling to make the mortgage payments. Finding the house of your dreams isn’t just about finding the ‘perfect’ house, it’s not just about aesthetics. It’s about finding a home that you can comfortably afford, and that you can put your own stamp on.
- Finances in order
You’ll want to get your finances in order before you start looking. You’ll need evidence of all of your income, including your debts, before you begin the mortgage application process. It’s helpful to know your credit score beforehand, however you’ll also find this out as part of the procedure. The best thing to do is to start budgeting well in advance of buying a place. Budgeting apps including Mint, You Need A Budget, and Good Budget can all be useful to help you save money. Good Budget is particularly great for couples, as you can easily sync your budgets together. YNAB is popular amongst millennials, while Mint is one of the longest standing budgeting apps (and it even provides you with your credit score).
- It’s homework time
You should do your homework before you start house hunting, this will help you to make well informed decisions at each stage of the procedure. Research the average market price for the type of property you are looking for. Look into the real estate agents in your area, find out which ones have the best ratings and reputation. Research the neighbourhoods, what amenities are on offer, how safe are the areas and what are the schools like?
- Think about the future
When you are choosing a home you should be looking to the future as well as the present. Your needs may change in a few years time, and so it’s useful to anticipate these changes. You might want more space if you are planning to have children, or a fixer-upper if you’d like to turn your home into a long-term project? Perhaps you plan to work from home in the future, and if so you might want somewhere quieter and out of the city?
- Explore the neighbourhoods
It’s vital to get to know each and every neighbourhood that you are looking at properties in. Spend time there and have a good old explore. Go shopping, go to eat, hang out in the parks and chat to the locals.Consider your hobbies, and look into local groups where you could practice them in the area .Remember that this community is going to become a huge part of your life, so it’s essential that you feel right at home here.
- Home inspections & surveys
Before you have fully committed to making a purchase, you must have a home inspection and a survey of the property. Remember that there may be underlying problems that only a professional home inspection can expose. You won’t want to find out about these flaws too late, and end up out of pocket. With a survey, you’ll get to learn about any issues with the property which may end up affecting your final decision.
Remember, you should never rush the decision of buying a property. You might be keen to get your offer in and beat the competition, but these are not the times for rash decisions. If it’s your first property, don’t forget to look out for tips for first time buyers, to help you navigate this new journey.