6 Things Every Potential Homeowner Should Think About Before Putting In An Offer
Have you decided that it’s time to buy your first home? Or are you selling up and moving onto pastures new? If you’re getting ready to start the search for a perfect property, here are six things to think about.
1. Your budget
Before you even start browsing online for new homes, work out your budget. There’s no point wasting time looking at properties that way out of budget. Take a look at all your accounts and determine how much you have available for a deposit. Organise appointments with mortgage providers or a financial adviser to see what kinds of offers you get. Once you have a firm figure in mind, you can start narrowing down your search. It’s always a good idea to have a concrete offer in writing before you book any viewings.
Once you’ve set a budget, try and stick to it. If your dream home is just above it, but you can afford it without overstretching yourself for years to come, go for it. But be realistic. If you cannot afford a property you like, keep searching. You don’t want to be struggling or worrying about keeping up with payments for years to come.
2. The location
Many potential buyers prioritise location. Your search area will often dictate the number of properties available and the flexibility of the search. If you’ve pinpointed a couple of streets, you may have to wait a long time for a house to become available. If you’ve got a sizeable area, or you’re completely open to new locations, your options will be much more plentiful. You may have an ideal location in mind. But think about how important location is to you. Would you be willing to shift the boundaries slightly to get a bigger home or more outdoor space, for example? If you’re struggling to find what you want in your designated area, consider expanding it. Even stretching to an extra mile here and there could make a massive difference.
Are you looking in a sought-after area? Are prices are too high? If so, search for an up and coming suburb, village, or district nearby. You’ll find lower prices and potential to add value in the future. If you’re not familiar with other parts of town, you’ll find that an agent like Bridgfords has the info you need.
3. The condition
The condition of the property may determine whether or not it comes in on budget. It may also affect when you can move, and how much work you have to do. If you’re taking on a project, make sure you know exactly what you’re letting yourself in for. Organise a structural survey, and arrange from some building firms to visit and provide quotes. Work out what you would need to spend the get the desired outcome, and how long that would take. In some cases, the structure of the building is sound, and all that needs doing is cosmetic work. If there are signs of damage, such as damp or cracks in the walls or ceilings, more extensive work may be required. If you’re moving in a hurry, it’s probably best to find somewhere that’s ready to move into straight away.
4. The potential
Many of us look to buy a home for the future. Perhaps you’re thinking of starting a family or having more children. Maybe you want to run a business from home, or have elderly relatives move in with you. Perhaps you’re thinking of an investment project, and you want to increase the value of your home in the years to come. When you’re searching for a property, look for somewhere that offers potential. Is there scope to extend if you wanted to? Are there vacant spaces ripe for renovation, such as an attic or cellar? Is there room to add an annexe or a studio?
Often, doing work to a house will add significant value. But you’ll need to do your research before undertaking major renovations. Generally speaking, loft and basement conversions are very profitable. Creating larger kitchens is also a good move, especially if you’re aiming to sell to the family market when you move. Adding an extension may also be a wise move. Before you start planning, make sure you get written quotes.
Most of us dream of walking through the front door and falling head over heels with the house of our dreams. It’s always beneficial to go with your heart. But don’t ignore your head. You should love your home. But it should also cater for your needs as an individual or family unit. It’s all very well buying a beautiful chocolate box cottage. But is it going to work when you’re cramped for space and living miles away from the nearest bus stop or station? Is it worth sacrificing time at home to buy a property you love the look of? Weigh up the pros and cons. If you’re spending an extra hour commuting every day or you’re ferrying children around all the time, your dream home may lose some of its appeal.
6. Instinct and intuition
Instinct and intuition are powerful entities. Often, buyers say they just know when they’ve found the right property. It’s inexplicable, but you get a feeling. You may pull up in the drive and know that this is the house for you. You might walk in, think the property is stunning, but feel that it’s just not the perfect fit for you. Going with your instinct is often the best policy, especially if you have a shortlist to work through.
Buying a house is an exciting life event. But there are pitfalls to look out for and considerations to bear in mind. Take this list on board, and think carefully about making an offer. Don’t rush into anything. Organise second and third viewings. Weigh up the pros and cons. Stick to a budget, research locations, and make use of local real estate agents. Think about the future, as well as the present and don’t ignore your gut instinct. Good luck!