We all dream of our perfect home, but to actually live your dream is a whole different idea. But just what should you bear in mind when choosing your new home?
Moving homes is one of the most important decisions you’ll make in your entire life. It can also be one of the most complicated and anxiety-inducing phases you’ll ever go through; so doing all you can to ensure it will be a smooth process, is paramount. When it comes to finding your perfect home, making the correct decision is vital, so here is our guide to helping you make the right choice.
First impressions count.
Many of us are already aware that instinct plays a big part in things like moving, and first impressions are powerful. When you view a property and it feels like it’s yours even before you place an offer, when you feel genuinely excited to talk about it with friends and family, when you feel ready to stop looking at other homes, and when every thought in your mind tells you to buy the home – these are signs of a great first impression and ‘the one’ moment. All of this is important, but be careful not to let your feelings override more practical and, perhaps, even more important factors.
Can you afford it?
Likely to be one of the first serious questions you’ll ask yourself is whether you can afford the property or not. This may seem like a given, and that you wouldn’t bother viewing a property if you already knew you couldn’t afford it. However, there are a wide range of costs involved in buying and moving homes other than the property value itself. Stamp duty (if it applies), valuation fees, surveyors’ fees, legal fees, removal costs, and of course the deposit, can be significant when added to the mortgage costs themselves. Also important to note is the cost of ongoing maintenance and repair costs, insurance, council tax, and other every day running costs.
Do you feel safe?
No, this isn’t scaremongering we promise! It’s just that if you have that initial feeling, perhaps upon a viewing of the property, of being safe and secure, it may be worth paying attention to that as your sixth sense can often speak volumes. Also important to consider is the area in which the property is based in terms of crime rates. There is a fantastic free app called Crime Map: England and Wales which uses the UK police database to show statistics for a wide range of neighbourhoods, displaying their crime rates and relative risk factor. It also uses the national average stats to draw comparisons.
Location, location, location.
Looking for something rural and out in the countryside, away from the hustle and bustle of the city? Or perhaps you love the city life and desire to be on the very edge of the centre of town. Sometimes you can even find the best of both worlds, with your new home being situated for rural living yet also a stone’s throw away from amenities and, if required, schools.
Maybe you’re an avid swimmer and crave a leisure centre and/or gym being close-by. In which case, make sure you do your research and you’re perfectly located for your specific needs.
Many buyers on the hunt for their ideal home will generally already have in mind how many bedrooms they require – perhaps depending on whether or not they have a family to consider.
But depending on whether the property offers the scope for potential extension work, bigger isn’t always better, especially if you’re already planning on, say, having a conservatory with a particular design or an extra ground floor room added later. It’s worth noting here that you may need to seek planning permission in order to carry out any improvements to the property.
Are you a keen cook? If so, the kitchen could be another important deciding factor, since more worktop space and the desired appliances/appliance space would be a fantastic way of unleashing the Michelin star chef in you!
Gardens and parking.
If you have pets, remember to specify your criteria for outside space. Many pets feel most at home roaming around in grass, but some others are happy just to get some fresh air and hear the sounds of nature! Perhaps you’re a keen sunbather, or maybe barbeques are your thing. The right kind of outside space will be really important in catering for such needs, as well as the potential for summerhouses, greenhouses, and vegetable patches. Depending on the number of vehicles you own, you will also need to specify what parking you require. If you only own a motorbike for example, a driveway may well suffice. But if you have a couple of cars, you may need to look into making sure there is a garage with the property.
Other things to be mindful of:
• As alluded to earlier, remember to use your head as well as your heart.
• If you’re worried about not finding the right place quickly enough, avoid buying just because you feel under pressure – as that point of no return may be closer than you may think.
• If purchasing with your partner, try to ensure that you both are buying a home you feel 100% about, because it could mean worries later on.
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