Deciding on ‘the’ house

Deciding on ‘the’ house is part of our guide to buying your next home and potentially one of the biggest decisions you are ever likely to make. There are a number of factors to consider, this will differ from person to person but there are key themes than run throughout any search be it for a one-bed flat or five-bed detached.

dream homeThe pessimist in me would automatically say that we all generally want what we can’t have; however is this always the case?

Let’s consider budget, you’ve made an informed decision that you are able to borrow, make the repayments and continue to live a semi-normal life. You have a limit and you should stick to it.

Secondly you’ve pulled together a list of essential and desirable criteria that your new home must meet, this could be 3 bedrooms, separate garage, land to develop or something as simple as a down stairs toilet. You now know exactly what you want so start the search with this in mind.

Finally location, do we underestimate the importance of this and can the wrong location turn your dream home into a nightmare. If you have secured a ‘great’ spot in a ‘great’ street in a ‘great’ neighbourhood do the small imperfections that could so easily be changed with a 2 litre tin of emulsion really matter. Sounds simple and it is !

On the flip side, you’ve secured the house of your dreams, it has everything and more but it’s on the corner of a busy road with no off street parking, the street is so narrow that it causes conflict between neighbours and results in a daily battle for the best ‘spot’. Local amenities are a car journey away which is now adding time to your day that you simply haven’t got and your now journey to work is like a scene from Spartacus.

When you think you have located something that appears to tick all the boxes start asking questions immediately. Ask the vendor their opinion on the area and more importantly their thoughts on neighbours, legally they are obliged to tell you if they’ve encountered problems. Ask the obvious – Why are you moving?

Make more than one visit to the area and do so at different times of the day, this should give you a more rounded picture. Take a walk around and look at the local amenities, what is it that you’re looking for and does this house give you that. Consider transport links and your proximity to work, will this house result in increased travelling costs and if so, is it worth it.

This would suggest that location is everything however deciding on a house is more about informed decisions based on sound judgements, always consider the bigger picture. The house should reflect your lifestyle, if you don’t fancy months of hard work steer clear of a renovation project and if the green fingers are in short supply opt for a yard and tubs, make the property work for you not the reverse.

Written by Karen Donaldson, ‘our’ new resident domestic property consultant. Watch this space as Karen will be returning to write further articles based upon her specialised field of interest and expertise.

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