Your home is probably the biggest, most expensive purchase you’ll ever make, so it’s important that you get it right – this is something that takes time and shouldn’t be entered into lightly. You probably want to live there for a couple of years at least, so you’ve got to be happy there. On the flip side, if you make the wrong decision you could end up being stuck there for years because nobody else wants to buy it! Quick decisions are often bad ones when it comes to buying property, so avoid regret by taking these important factors into consideration:
Location, location, location. Such a popular phrase in estate agency that they named a television programme about it, and it really is important. “Even if you don’t like the design or the layout of a house you can do something about it. Not so when it comes to location – unless your home is a mobile one, you’re stuck with the area” warns Knightsbridge estate agent, Plaza Estates. Think carefully about how close you’ll be to work, school, family and shops, how accessible it is in bad weather and what the local transport links are like. It’s important to spend some time doing research – you’ll need to know about crime in the local area and what the neighbours are like if you want to avoid making a disastrous decision.
Look, smell, listen, feel
Use your senses carefully when you’re on viewings to identify any potential problems. Overpowering air fresheners could have been used to mask odours like damp and dodgy drains; listen carefully for any warning signs like excessively barking dogs or loud music; touch the walls to identify damp and use your feet to feel around for uneven floorboards; stay on the lookout for poor workmanship or anything else that could make the house a money pit.
Your sense of taste probably won’t help you much, but if you believe that houses have negative or positive energy you will definitely want to use your “sixth sense”. “It’s important that the house feels like home, so if something’s making you feel uncomfortable listen to your gut” says Robert Holmes.
See the light
If you’re a person who craves natural light, you’re going to hate living in a dark, dingy house with small windows. Think about how important lighting is to you and try to visit the house at different times of day so you can get a real sense of how it’s reflected. This will also help you to choose the right colours when you come to decorate.
Look at the layout
Sometimes it’s easy enough to mix up the layout of a property after you’ve moved in. Other houses are not so easy to play around with, so think carefully about how the living space works for you and your lifestyle, and whether your furniture will fit.
Avoid parking wars
One of the major cause of neighbour disputes is people fighting for parking spaces. If there are only a few spaces available and you can’t guarantee you’ll make it in time, will that make your life more stressful? The ideal solution is to find a property with its own driveway or garage, but if that’s not possible you’ll need to know that trying to find somewhere to park the car(s) isn’t going to be a nightmare.
“Never rush head first into buying a property, no matter how much you like it” advises Andrew Reeves. “Make a list of all the things that are essential to you, and another which lists your desirables. See as many properties as you can within your price range and then pick the one that ticks the most amount of boxes.”