Everyone wants to live in their ideal home, but realistically do you know what it is you want and what you can afford when searching for a property. Are there things you are willing to compromise on to get your dream home?
Here are our top tips for narrowing down your property search.
Location Location Location
- To quote Phil and Kirsty from Channel 4’s popular property programme, it’s all about ‘location location location’.
- Narrow down your property search by deciding on the location that you wish to move to. Spend time getting to know the area, chat to people who already live there and find out about local school catchment areas, nurseries and community events to ensure it really is the place for you.
- Find out how close properties are to motorways, main roads and busy carparks. Also do your research to see if the property is near a busy railway line or under a flight path. Whilst these things may cause some noise they also might mean slightly cheaper property prices.
- Use Google Maps or Google Earth to work out which way the property faces.
- Research local bus routes and transport links and if you commute, work out how far your journey to work may potentially be.
- Take advantage of Google Street View and Google Maps to establish the exact location and orientation of the properties that you wish to view. Be warned that most properties are postcode specific so make sure you are looking at the right one! Also remember that not all Google Street View data is up to date, we always recommend a drive by.
Do a drive by of the property
- Drive around the local area. It is worth checking the local area for things like busy kebab shops, loud pubs and event venues that may cause disturbance. Does the local area provide all the facilities you need?
- Do you like the exterior of the property and where it is located?
Know what you want
- Check the floor plans so you can see if a properties rooms are the correct sizes for your requirements.
- Establish whether the property has parking (driveway or street parking) if necessary. Confirm whether any pathways, drives and courtyards have any shared areas and shared access.
- Confirm what you can afford. If you require a mortgage or external funds check with your provider what your budget is so you can look at properties that are realistically in your price range.
- Ensure your budget covers any works that may need doing stamp duty, surveys, moving costs, legal costs and removals
Be willing to compromise
- Know what you (and anyone you are moving with!) are willing to compromise on: location, price or size.
The sage advice from Keith Maslin, owner of Blount & Maslin, is: “Write a list, in priority order, of the 10 most important requirements for your next home. Don’t even bother viewing the property unless it meets the first 5, but, if it scores 7 or more out of 10, then buy it! Perfect houses, like perfect men, don’t exist!”