Think about your new home

Spend some time thinking about what it is you want from your new home. What kind of property will suit your lifestyle? What location is most desirable and affordable? Do you want a garden? How many bedrooms do you need? Do you want a new or old property? Taking the time to identify what is important to you will save you time in your property search.

Preparation is also the key to the viewing process itself. Be ready with a list of questions you want to ask the vendor and the estate agent. For example asking how long the house has been on the market may give you a clue to any potential problems with the property. You might also need to ask; what fixtures and fitting will be left? What are the neighbours like? Why the vendor is moving? What are the parking arrangements? How much does the property cost to run? In order to keep each property you view clear in your mind it is best to take notes along the way.

Be as observant as you can be. Look for any potential problems and costs such as dysfunctional guttering, cracks in the interior and exterior walls or brown stains on the ceiling that may indicate a leaky roof for example.

Try to visualise yourself living there. Ignore the décor as much as you can and try to think about whether your furniture will fit into the house and how it will look with your style applied to it. View the property in daylight and be sure to check out the area at other times of the day: a quiet road might be manic during rush hour and a desirable neighbourhood may look different at night.

Be polite but don’t feel uncomfortable looking around a house, it is a big investment to make, so it pays to be a little nosey.”

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