If you’re not sure where to start when searching for a property, follow our 5 steps to finding a home:
Choosing a location
When considering where to live, the process can be made a lot less daunting if you are able to narrow your search area. Think about what’s important to you whether it’s to be near family, close to transport links, access to local schools or convenient access to green open spaces and amenities.
Work out what you can afford
Buying a home may be one of the biggest purchases you will ever make and will involve a long-term financial commitment. Therefore it’s important to seriously consider what you can afford.
Start by comparing your outgoings to your income and assess what you have left. Remember to add any savings, benefits such as bonuses or gifts from family.
Once you know what you are able to pay back on a mortgage each month, speak to a bank, building society or independent financial advisor to find out what total mortgage amount your monthly payments could represent.
Finding your ideal property
To begin your search, you will need to consider what’s important to you and your lifestyle, both now and in the future.
How many bedrooms do you need? Is off-street parking important? Do you need outdoor space such as a garden or balcony? Are you happy to spend time / money on redecorating? Is there enough space for future plans, such as a growing family?
Buying a home may always require some compromise, so consider which criteria is most important and what you may be willing to negotiate.
Viewing a property
Once you’ve arranged a viewing, prepare a check list of what’s important to you so that you will be reminded to look out for these points.
When approaching the property, take in the surrounding area and consider how this will meet your needs. Are there shops nearby? Is the area vibrant or calm?
Consider things such as are the rooms big enough for my needs? Is there sufficient storage space? Will the property need redecorating?
If the owners are present this is a great opportunity to ask them what they like about the house or the local area and you may discover things that you have missed during your viewing.
Making an offer
Now you’ve found your dream home, you’re ready to make an offer.
When making your offer the seller will consider things such as: do you have an Agreement in Principle with a mortgage lender showing proof that you have the money in place to purchase the property?; are you a first-time buyer or have you found a buyer for your existing property?; can you move in a time that fits with their plans?
These are things to consider when deciding on your offer.
Once you have made an offer which has been accepted, this will be confirmed in writing. Any offer made is subject to contracts being signed.