If you are searching for a home, you will want to follow these steps to help you along the way.
1. Set a sensible budget
To help set a sensible budget, it can help to involve a specialist mortgage advisor at this early stage. Decide on a monthly mortgage repayment which is affordable for you, allowing for this to increase in line with interest rates. Then consider how much you can afford to put down as a deposit. With these figures in mind, work out how much you would like to borrow and establish a price range for your property search.
2. Get your paperwork in order
One of the most common mistakes buyers make is not getting a mortgage agreement in principle. If you are looking to purchase a new house with a mortgage, this can be a useful step in your search.
3. Decide on your deal-breakers
With your budget in mind, decide on your deal-breakers. Determine what you need from your home – location, number of bedrooms, outside space and parking. Then make a list of things you would like, but are not essential. Decide what you are willing to compromise on and what you are not.
4. List your existing home
If you need to sell your existing home, it can be a good idea to list it on the market before you start the search for a new one. This will make you more appealing to prospective sellers and could avoid some of the delays associated with being in a chain.
5. Start the search
In addition to using the popular property portals, register your interest with your local estate agent. Give as much information to your agent about your budget, timeframe for moving, requirement to sell before buying and your dealbreakers.
6. Think ahead
Think about what might be important to you in the coming years. If you plan to start a family, for example, consider the availability of local nurseries. Look for good local schools and place yourself well within their catchment areas. If you are approaching retirement, it may be worth considering single-storey living, as well as looking at the proximity of local transport and facilities like shops and GP surgeries.
7. Maximise each viewing
When you look at a prospective new home, look carefully and thoroughly. Imagine yourself living in the home, visualise how you would use each room and whether the layout of the house would work for you. Keep an open mind and think about a property’s potential, looking beyond the current décor and the seller’s furniture.
8. Consider the surroundings
It may be a cliché but, when it comes to buying, think ‘location, location, location’. Will you feel comfortable in the area, and does it have everything you need?
9. Choose head over heart
Buying a house can be a really emotional process for many of us. Avoid being swept away by a property you fall in love with, but which is outside your budget or falls short of your dealbreaker list.
10. Take your time, but not too much time!
Making rash decisions and rushing are things to avoid when buying a new home. Equally, leaving it too long to take action may mean you miss out.
If you are looking for your perfect home, check out our latest listings.