Top tips for the first time buyer
Buying your first home is one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking times of your life. Every viewing can seem momentous, every decision a dilemma.
It can really help to set some basic criteria for narrowing down your search and deciding if a home could be The One. Of course, the most important thing is to make sure it structurally sounds – but that’s what your survey is for.
But there are other things that can really make the difference between a nice home and the perfect one. Here are our top tips!
- Storage, storage, storage
An open plan home is the dream for many people – but that can reduce the number of storage areas too. Are there places to put things out of sight? No-body wants their sleek designer home to be spoilt by a random vacuum cleaner or ironing board. Or have to buy hundreds of cupboards and wardrobes to house everything.
- Be realistic
Sometimes it’s easy to get carried away with ‘potential’. Yes, a house that needs a complete makeover might be bigger than the ‘pristine’ homes within your budget. But don’t be too optimistic about your capacity for DIY, gardening – or even the cost of getting a professional in. If you have a full-time job it’s very tricky to balance home renovations with work and leisure time.
- Bathroom basics
Remember that your bathroom should be a personal haven. If the suite or bathroom furniture needs replacing it’s not a deal-breaker – they can be bought more cheaply than you think. Even flooring doesn’t cost the earth. But one thing you should always check: the water pressure. There’s nothing more miserable than a dribble of a shower!
- Out and about
Be clear about how easy or difficult your commute will be. If you drive, how easy is it to get a parking space? If not, how far is the bus stop or train station? While in summer you might think “a 20-minute walk will do me good!” – that trip will be very different in pouring rain, with heavy shopping or after a long day.
- Good neighbors
Listen out to the local noises. Try and visit at a weekend if you can. According to Citizens Advice, neighborhood disputes are very common and can cause lots of stress and upset. If you like peace and quiet, don’t buy a house next to noisy children, loud music fans or people who fix motorbikes for a living. Ask the vendor if they’ve ever had any issues.
By blending these tips with your own list of ‘must-haves’ you should be on track to find a fabulous new home. It’s an exciting time – enjoy it!