So, you’ve decided to buy a home – congrats!
Investing in a home is a great way to look towards your future, and you can easily land your dream home with less hassle if you know what to look for when viewing the property.
Of course, there are general things like size, local area, and price, but aside from that, you’ll need to know if a property has good bones—whether it has been built to last or will show signs of wear quickly. In this guide, you’ll learn the key things to look for when buying a house. But first, where should you start?
Before you embark on your house-hunting journey, it’s important to understand your budget. Many first-time home buyers make the mistake of getting their hearts set on a particular home only to realise later that they can’t afford it.
Most people have a general idea of what to look for in a home and the first step in your house-hunting journey is to get pre-approved for a mortgage.
The pre-approval process involves the lender looking at your credentials—credit, income sources, debt—to determine whether you’re eligible for a mortgage and what amount. If qualified, they’ll give you a pre-approval letter stating how much you’re approved to borrow.
We have a team of specialist in-house mortgage advisors who can advise you along the way – simply register with us online and we’ll guide you through the process as smoothly as possible.
Once you have an idea of how much you can afford, the next step is to start searching for homes that fall within your budget.
When shopping for a home, try think beyond your immediate want list. Instead, make sure your home meets your long-term goals and plans.
Here are some of the critical long-term and short-term things to consider when buying a home:
Experts will tell you that the three most important things to consider while buying a house are location, location, location. And it makes sense!
You can change almost every part of your home, but you can’t change your property’s location. Here are a few aspects to look out for in your target location:
Crime mapping services can help you determine when and where crimes were committed in a certain location. A simple Google search can also give you a lot of insights into the area’s security and reported crimes.
If you have children or are planning to have some in the future, you’ll want to consider proximity to schools. Homes in areas with better schools and other social amenities, like hospitals and shopping centres, hold a stronger re-sale value too.
If you don’t work from home, you’ll want a home in a location not far from where you work. Proximity to work can save you lots of money when it comes to fuel and transport costs.
It’s also more convenient to buy a home close to restaurants, grocery stores, supermarkets, and more. A simple drive around to see what amenities are available in your target location can be a big help, especially when comparing different properties.
Another critical factor to consider is your outdoor space.
Do you want a large back garden with beautiful, low-maintenance landscaping? Or would you prefer to avoid the responsibilities of having a big lawn?
You’ll also need to consider the features you want in your garden. Many homes on the market today come with all sorts of natural and man-made features—from ponds and streams to decking and patios.
If you have big plans for your outdoor space, you’ll need to ensure your home can accommodate all the features you wish to include.
Some things to consider for the size of your garden include:
Although you may be buying for your situation as it currently is, it’s important to look towards the future when considering how many bedrooms you’ll need, especially if you’re looking for your forever home.
Think about who will be living in the property now and who might be in the future. Do you need room for guests to stay over? Will you be working from home and need the additional space?
Your desired number of bathrooms is often less easier to shop around for – it can be more tricky to find a home that has a downstairs bathroom or an ensuite to the master bedroom. If these features are a must, consider placing this high up on your list when it comes to the initial search.
Older homes will likely have only one bathroom, and it can be possible to add another. On the other hand, new homes will tend to have two or more bathrooms but may not be the type of home you envisioned.
The size and style of the bathroom are also important to consider; do you want a shower or bathtub, or both?
If the kitchen is the heart of your home, a property with a cooking area that’s ready to go is a big tick in the box.
Kitchen redesigning and fitting can be costly and time-consuming, but finding a space that would work for you and your family means that half the job is done and you may just need to consider minor upgrades.
It’s also important to consider your storage requirements when buying property. Is there room for shelves or cupboards to be built in? Where will you keep your boxes, garden tools, and more importantly, junk!
Homes with enough storage space are an asset, especially if you’re a DIY enthusiast or have a larger family with lots of things that need a home.
Last but not least, you’ll want to consider the house’s exterior.
A home inspection can help you identify any issues in a property and this is where the value of a knowledgeable estate agent comes in.
Here are some of the exterior components to check out when buying property.
This is a big one as replacing a roof can be costly, ranging between £5,000 and £7,000.
A well-maintained roof can last for up to 25 years, depending on the type of roofing material used.
Foundation problems can cost tens of thousands of pounds, so it’s important to have the property inspected before purchase. Some foundation red flags to look out for include:
Check out the walls for any signs of damage. Potential red flags include rotting wood, cracks on the exterior wall, peeling paint, and decay.
Buying your dream home can be one of the most exciting moments of your life, and with our team of estate agents, we’re confident that we can find the perfect home for you. Whether you’re armed with some of the information listed above or you’re just starting your searches, we can help.
If you’d like to register with us and find out more about how the house buying process with us here at Abode, please head to our dedicated page for more information.