A home is the most expensive purchase most people will ever make, making it vital that they obtain the best possible advice on house hunting. This means considering a range of factors, some of which will vary according to whether the buyer is a single person, a couple or a family. However, there are a few things which every purchaser needs to bear in mind if the ideal outcome – a home to cherish – is to be achieved.
Money, money, money
It’s vital that purchasers have a clear understanding of how much they can realistically afford; a mortgage broker will be able to help with this calculation and investing in the services of one is an extremely worthwhile action. As a general rule, most banks and building societies will lend around four times a buyer’s annual income, but that is unlikely to cover the entire cost of the house. That means considering, well in advance, how to raise a deposit. It’s also important to bear in mind that a mortgage is a long-term commitment, with repayments continuing for many years to come.
All houses great and small
Although it’s pleasant to dream of a country mansion with extensive grounds, the reality for most buyers is different, so inevitably there will be some compromises to be made here. Many urban terraces and suburban semis can feel somewhat cramped, especially for families, but even a small garden can make quite a difference. Since it’s likely that all the occupants together will spend considerable time in the living room, it’s important that this is not too small. Bedrooms can be shared by young children, but this may cause trouble as they get older, so two small rooms may be better than a single large one.
Spick and span?
It can be tempting to buy a house described as being in need of modernisation, as these are frequently advertised at temptingly low prices. However, these properties should only be considered if the sums add up, as a full-scale renovation can be eye-wateringly expensive. Even a relatively straightforward job, such as the conversion of a storeroom into a bedroom, can burn through the pounds. Even with a more conventional purchase, it’s important to obtain a proper survey, allowing any potential problems to be flagged up before any deals are done.
The location fixation
Yes, it’s clichéd to say that location is everything – but, like most clichés, it contains a grain of truth. There’s no point in buying a house that’s beautiful if the area it’s located in is less so. This goes double if the property is intended to be a rung on the housing ladder, rather than the top step. High on the list of factors to consider is transport: are the local roads frequently congested? Those buying a family home should also think about education: does the local school have a good reputation? Talk to people already living in the area; their comments may constitute valuable advice on house searching.
A guest post on behalf of House to Home, in association with iCrossing Ltd.