How to make sure I’m buying the right home
Whether you are a first-time buyer seeking your first home, or you are looking for a more spacious property in order to accommodate a growing family, buying a new home is an exciting and nail-biting time.
Purchasing a new home is probably the single biggest financial commitment you will ever make, and one wrong decision could prove to be an expensive mistake. It is a good idea to define exactly what you want before you begin your property search. If a property doesn’t feel right when you view it, or you don’t like the location, think twice before putting in an offer, even if it seems a bargain.
After the price, location is probably the most important factor when it comes to finding the right property. Your requirements will vary depending upon your circumstances. Young professionals will probably want to be close to the city centre, while families may be looking for something further out, close to open spaces and good schools. In the suburbs you will also obtain more for your money, although you will need to factor in commute times and train fares.
Towns and Cities
Prices in the centre of town can be staggeringly high, which is something to factor in if you have your heart set on a city centre pad. However, you can’t beat having work on your doorstep and being within walking distance of theatres, restaurants and cinemas. You are also more likely to find period homes close to the city centre.
Many of us dream of quitting the rat race and moving to a rural idyll. However, what may seem a good idea in July might be less appealing in the middle of January. Also, make sure you are ready to live without the usual amenities on your doorstep. If you couldn’t exist without a weekly takeaway or having a 24-hour supermarket close to home, rural living probably isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you have always yearned for country living, are able to work from home and don’t mind driving miles just to get a pint of milk, a cottage in the country could be the perfect investment.
If you have children, schools are an important priority. Many buyers are prepared to pay over the going rate for a home within the catchment area of a good school. You will also want to steer clear of the main road, perhaps selecting a home in a cul-de-sac where it is safe for children to play outside. You will also want plenty of garden space and those with young children may prefer it if the bathroom is on the same floor as the bedrooms.
It may be easier than you think to create more space in your new home. A study or loft space can be transformed into a third bedroom or an en-suite bathroom can be installed. Alternatively, you may opt for improvements such as installing central heating or double glazing. If your prospective home ticks most of the boxes but requires some additional work, it is still worth considering.
Making changes may help to increase the value of your property when you come to sell, and you may even be eligible for a home improvement loan. A secured loan can be a good option for those who are planning a big project as they can be taken out over a longer period of time and the rate can be lower than the unsecured loans offered by High Street banks. Although you must be aware that your home may be at risk should you be unable to keep up with repayments on the loan.
Whatever your budget, buying a property is a long and complex process, requiring planning and research. It is also likely to be the biggest purchase of your life.
It is also highly emotive. On many occasions, you will simply know that a property is right the minute you walk through the door during a viewing. On other occasions your prospective home may just require a few home improvements to transform it into your dream property.
Picturing your family and belongings inside and planning where your furniture might go will be sure signs that a property deserves a second viewing.
Firas Aldalou is the Digital Manager at Evolution Money, a secured loans company based in Manchester.