With so much at stake – both emotionally and financially – it’s no wonder so many of us struggle when it comes to deciding what property is right for us.
We worry that our emotions will rule the day and we’ll end up in a property that doesn’t meet our practical needs. Or, we’ll be so sensible that we’ll buy somewhere that ticks all the right financial and practical boxes but just doesn’t feel like “home.”
So, how can we satisfy our hearts and minds when it comes to buying a new property?
Start your property search head first
Falling in love with a new property before you’ve even crossed the threshold is fantastic – providing you’ve used your head to help you get this far.
Before you view any properties, it’s vital to have a clear mental (or preferably physical) checklist of your requirements.
Once you’ve got your checklist and you stick to only viewing properties that meet your criteria, it’s absolutely fine to let your heart take over to find “the one.”
What should your house search criteria include?
Location – we don’t need Phil and Kirsty to remind us how important it is to choose the best area for you and your family to live.
Of course, it makes financial sense to choose the most affluent area you can afford – but only if living there suits your family’s lifestyle and work commitments.
A beautiful house on a gentle hill, far away from the nearest neighbours may sound like bliss but, if you’ve got small children and pushchairs to consider, that gentle hill may feel like Ben Nevis on a cold Winter’s day.
And, who will your children play with if your lovely, quiet neighbourhood is full of retired people.
Likewise, if you’re retired and looking for a quiet, relaxed way of life, a thriving housing estate full of young families will probably not be right for you.
Budget – don’t view anything you can’t afford!
Set your property budget sensibly.
If you stretch yourself too far, there may not be enough left at the end of each month to actually enjoy life in your new home.
If you’re getting a new mortgage, the monthly repayment amount is a good starting point for your budgeting. Take into account any additional travel costs you may have if you’re moving areas.
How much space do you really need?
If you’re downsizing, decide how many bedrooms you genuinely need and narrow your property search criteria accordingly.
It is so easy to be tempted to go and see a property that is actually the same size as your current home, but you’re unlikely to reduce your outgoings if the amount of floor space is the same.
Likewise, if you need extra room for a growing family, this may mean compromising on the type of properties you view – especially if you aren’t in a position to increase your mortgage.
How much will you have to spend “doing up” your new home?
We all want to put our stamp on our new home, but think carefully about how much spare cash you’ll have for refurbishments and decorating.
If money will be tight, make sure you can live with the existing kitchen and bathroom until you have the money to change things.
Bathrooms and kitchens are expensive to remodel so don’t bother viewing properties that don’t give you the space and facilities you need for daily life.
Be strict with yourself – and with your estate agent
Once you’ve identified what’s really important to you and your family – stick to your guns!
Make sure your estate agent knows your property search criteria and doesn’t send you properties that may tempt you to push yourself too far financially.
A good estate agent will take the time to get to know you and understand your property needs. This will ensure they will only show you properties that meet your criteria.
They’ll also have access to reputable financial advisers who can help you decide what level of mortgage you can comfortably afford.
Time to set your heart free!
If you’ve followed our advice and narrowed down the practical aspects of your property search, it’s time to let your emotions take over.
We’ve accompanied thousands of clients to thousands of viewings and 99 times out of 100, we’ll know within minutes – if not seconds – when a customer has fallen in love with a property.
It’s an absolute privilege to be there when you see someone’s eyes light up, their smile broaden and even the odd tear when you show them “the one.”
Turning love at first sight into a forever home
As estate agents, witnessing how much a client wants to buy a certain property provides all the motivation we need to ensure the sale goes through smoothly and swiftly.
After all, we wouldn’t want to stand in the way of true love!
Can we help you fall in love with your next home? Call us today and let’s get moving.