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Finding a new place to live is a massive job. When a house is such a massive process (and is always such a long-winded and drawn out process, you want to make sure you’re getting it right. The last thing you want is to move into the new place, and realise you overlooked something important. Here are five questions to ask yourself in the property hunting process to help you narrow down your choices.
What’s your budget?
The very first thing you’ll need to consider when you’re buying a house is what your budget is. Know what your upper limit is, so you don’t find yourself getting lost amongst pages of properties that you simply can’t afford. Your mortgage company will have given you an idea of what they can lend you, so be sure to bear this in mind when you start looking. If you’re purchasing with cash such as an inheritance, decide if you’re going to buy only within this budget. Or whether you’ll put down what you have, and get a mortgage for the remaining amount on a more expensive house. If the property is in a state of disrepair or you need to make changes, you’ll need to work these into your budget and make sure you can afford everything overall. If you’re happy for it to be a work in progress over a longer time period, you can save and make changes as you go.
What type of home will you move to?
With so many different kinds of properties out there, your next step would be to narrow down what it is you’re after. If you want a house, does it have to be detached or would you be happy with a semi-detached or terrace? Would an apartment or maisonette suit you, or do you have your heart set on a bungalow? Keep an open mind, but know in your head where you’d definitely not want to live. That way you can filter out properties and it makes it much easier to find what you’re looking for. For example, if you have kids then you might have it in mind that your next property has to be a house- so you can filter out everything else.
Will you be able to make changes?
When you’re searching for a property, it’s important to bear in mind that it might not look exactly the way you want it to right now. But as long as it has potential and a good base to build upon, you can make changes. For example, if there’s enough outside space you can extend, you could also extend up into the loft or down into the basement. So if you plan on growing your family later down the line, you have the option to do so. If the building is listed or is sold as a leasehold then you can be limited on the changes you’ll be able to make, and there may be local conditions in place that prevent homeowners making certain adjustments. If you find a property you think is suitable, make sure you check if there are limitations with changes if you know you plan on making some later down the line.
Is the garden sufficient?
The size of the garden is an important thing to think about. It’s all well and good falling in love with a house, but if the garden isn’t right for you it will come to haunt you later on. A small garden will be no fun for kids and pets, and can limit your ability to entertain with barbeques and drinks in the garden in the summer. A large garden can be hard work and expensive to maintain, if you don’t have the skills or inclination to keep on top of it.
What’s the area like?
You can make changes to the house itself, but you can’t change the area. If there’s a lot of crime, unemployment, noise or other issues nearby then it could be something that you need to think twice about. Run postcode checks, and if you can, speak to the neighbours. Be aware of schools, shops, airports, train lines and other sources of noise nearby that could cause problems with noise. Find out if there are any neighbourhood watch schemes or community schemes in place. When you buy a house, you’re not just investing in the property. You have to deal with the surrounding area too, so make sure it’s something you’re happy with.
Thanks for stopping by today, if you enjoyed this post you may like reading about our house move last year and property hunting.
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