Property may well be the most expensive purchase of your life, so it better be the right purchase. There are countless details to consider, including personal touches and home comforts that may be suited to your specific needs, but when you boil it down to the main factors these are the things you should really be looking for.
Unless you’re that much of a free spirit that you can live anywhere, location is what matters most. Besides you can do up a house until it suits your needs, you can’t then move that house to a new location.
When doing property search always check the neighborhood. Make sure that there’s sufficient parking if you’ve got a car, and that important services aren’t too far away.
Talk with a few of the locals to get an idea of what it’s like to live there and schedule different viewings at different times to see the area at night and day, at rush hour and on a weekend. From here you will be able to gage what it is like to live in the neighborhood. Distance to work, local schools and a religious building may also be a factor for some.
Property is expensive, so work within a strict budget. You can use an online mortgage calculator with insurance and taxes included to help you stay within this budget. On top of this, you should account for removals fees and surveyor fees if you are calling in a surveyor.
Age of the property
Older properties can often require a little more TLC. Electrics may need to be rewired and insulation may need to be repaired. A surveyor can help spot these faults early in the bud.
New properties may not be as prone to these faults, but without as much history you do risk not knowing what could be around the corner.
Space for growth?
If you’re single, will you need space for if you meet a partner? If you’re a couple, will you be starting a family in the near future? These are all important questions to ask yourself when choosing a property.
If there aren’t enough rooms for your future plans, consider whether you’d be able to expand. If the property has a loft, you may be able to convert this into an extra room. You may alternatively be able to extend the house to include a conservatory or a downstairs bedroom.
In almost all cases, property prices are going up. That said, you will be more likely to make a profit from certain properties than others. If you plan to sell and climb the property ladder afterwards (or downsize and make a profit) appreciation is an important factor to consider.
Remember that there are alterations you may be able to make to the property that increases its value. This could include building an extension, sprucing up a garden or even changing the décor. Take this into account when looking at property and incorporate it into your budget.