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!

  1. 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.

  1. 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.  

  1. 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!

  1. 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.

  1. 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!