7 top tips for buying your dream home this year
You’ve worked your way up and around that property ladder, hey, maybe you’ve even just won the lottery, either way, the time is here to purchase the luxury home you’ve always desired. But your perfect property doesn’t come easy, it takes a little thought and a lot of patience to find the home that is just right for you and your loved ones.
It may be one of the most exciting times in your life but there are many decisions to be made. You will want the best home at a price that works for you, it needs to be in the right location; be it close to family, within easy reach of work, or near to plenty of amenities that you don’t fancy travelling too far for. You want the indoor and outdoor space to meet your needs, and your home needs reflects who you are, or at least be open to a little renovation to get it that way. It’s not easy to get all of those things right but it will happen if you are well prepared and happy to wait for your dream home to appear.
To give you a head start, we’ve compiled our top seven tips to help make your dream a reality.
Work Out Your Budget
This might seem obvious, but before going out and viewing properties, work out what you have to spend first. It’s easy to get excited and hope that the seller will drop the price just for you, but it’s unlikely, and searching beyond your means only leads to disappointment. If you currently own a home and will be selling before you move; get a few estate agents over to provide some valuations. The value of your current home may influence the amount that you can spend on your new property so seek out a meeting with a mortgage advisor and see how much you would be able to borrow early on and get an in-principle mortgage. Also, if you are a first-time buyer, consider how much of a deposit you have, and again, see a mortgage advisor to find out how much you can borrow.
Don’t forget that there are other costs involved in buying; these might include the price of a survey, legal fees, stamp duty and the costs of any decorating or renovation work you will need to undertake when you move in. As well as that, you will need to factor removals costs and any new furniture you will need for your new home.
Work Out What You Want
Making a list of everything important to you is the first thing to do. Perhaps you would like a pool, a double garage, large garden, a home with a view, a specific amount of bedrooms, or you may have a specific style of building or design features in mind. This list will be invaluable to you as you search but it’s good to work out areas where you can be flexible, while keeping in mind which aspects are mandatory for you.
Get The Right Professionals
Getting the right house means hiring the right people and, if you want something particularly special from your next home, you are going to need an estate agent that specializes in that type of property.
If you are looking to buy luxury, you might find that the homes you are looking for don’t come up on search engines or are displayed on listings. Often the current owner may request that the property be sold discreetly to protect their secrecy – there are specialised agents who deal in this type of property so ensure to shop around and find the right agent for you.
Research and hire the best financial advisors, conveyancers and surveyors – there is little point trying to save money here when these people are responsible for making sure your investment is sound, if you have ever been on the receiving end of a poor quality solicitors, you will appreciate that extra cost means extra quality.
Consider Buying Off-Plan
Many house builders such as Redrow will allow you to buy off-plan. This will mean that you can select the plot and have some say in the fittings and layout of your future home. Within any development, there will generally be several different home design options, ranging from the basic and modest; to the grand and ostentatious. The excellent things about new build homes are that they are energy efficient, they don’t require any renovating, and there is no current owner, so no chain. If there are issues with the property when you move in, then they can be fixed by the builders, meaning that you don’t have to foot the bill for repairs and can start settling in as soon as possible.
Consider Buying To Renovate
If you have the time and money, you may consider buying a home that requires work, and this may well work in your favour so that you can adapt the property to suit your style. It’s easy to overlook homes that have fallen into disrepair and often you may have trouble getting a mortgage to pay for it due to the condition of the building, however, if you are willing to invest the effort into restoring the right property, you may find some gems within the rough. Many get sold at auction so it is worth keeping an eye on anything that you might be able to grab for a bargain.
Research The Area
Take a trip to your potential new street, walk around at different times of the day and listen out for anything that might bother you – do you hear traffic or birds? A gentle stream or loud neighbours? Does the evening sun hit your back garden? Try and get a brief sense of what it might be like to live there and pop by during the week and on a weekend too.
Also do a little online research – find out if there are plans to develop something significant close by, which might entirely change the feel of your peaceful street; consider if the local schools are good, and find out the crime statistics. Are house prices in the area looking steady? All useful information you’ll need to gather to make sure the right choice is made.
Visit The Home
Take a good look around your prospective property, visit a couple of times, at different times of the day and ask as many questions as you need to, and look everywhere, testing taps and lights as you go and taking notes. If possible, hire the help of a professional to assist you – if you are buying a higher end home, you will want to make sure you are getting everything that you are paying for.