The House Hunter’s Guide

Searching for a new home is both an exciting and nerve-wracking time. There’s so much to do and get organised and there are certainly plenty of challenges to overcome. House hunting can quickly become frustrating if you don’t have your game plan right.

Here’s our quick guide for helping the process run more smoothly.

Set Your Budget

You need to be realistic about your budget and what you are prepared to go up to when buying a property. A lot will depend on what size home you are looking for and the area you want to move into. If you’re want a big garden, for instance, and four or five bedrooms you’ll need to pay more.

Don’t forget to factor in the costs that are going to be in addition to the purchase price, such as solicitor, survey, searches and removal fees.

Make a Wishlist

To keep you on track, it’s a very good idea to make a list of what you are looking for. This should be split into sections: definite must-haves (for example, the number of bedrooms you require), what features you would really like but is not that essential (for example a garage or office space), and then lastly anything that would be a bonus (for example a sizeable garden or an extra bedroom).

The list shouldn’t only include requirements for the house. You may want to include location factors such as proximity to the local transport links, where amenities such as shopping and play areas are as well as the quality of the local schools.

The reason for making this list and formalising it is so that you can compare like for like during your search. It will give you a clear idea of which properties are meeting most of your needs. It will also help your estate agent enormously and will prevent them from showing you properties that aren’t relevant.

Shortlist Properties

The next step is shortlisting properties. This can take a lot of time and work. Most of it can be done in front of a computer or with your local estate agent. For this job you will need to put aside some time to do it regularly. Houses are coming onto the market all the time and you don’t want to miss out.

Make sure you read all the relevant details for each property and fill in your list as you go along. Keep those properties that most closely fit your needs and shortlist these to view.

Keep Your Emotions Under Control

It is easy to let your emotions get the better of you when it comes to house hunting and viewing properties. After all, this is probably one of the biggest investments you are ever going to make. You might find yourself swayed by a beautiful garden or a feature such as a large en-suite bathroom. That’s why you should always give yourself a chance to cool off, step back and check your list again.

View Houses at Different Times

You will want to do your main viewing during the day when you can see everything clearly. Educate yourself on spotting potential problems such as damp or disrepair and make sure that you gather as much information on the property as possible so you know what to expect.

Once you have done your main viewing, if you are still interested in the property, visit the area at different times, including at night. That way you can assess what your street looks like when everyone is home from work, is parking an issue? Is it a quiet neighbourhood?

Talk To The Local Experts

Throughout the process of buying a new home one of your most valuable assets will be your Estate Agent. At Northwood we have local property experts that can help you find the right home for you. You can locate your nearest Northwood Branch here.
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