Finding your dream home
Before you start…
To find your dream home, you will need to ensure all your finances are in order. What's your budget? What size of house and which neighbourhoods are you looking at?
To find out realistically how much you can afford to spend on a property, you should speak to a few mortgage providers to find out their suggestions. We have good working relationships with independent mortgage brokers who can advise you on lending, budgets etc.
Then do work out a budget that includes things like Stamp Duty, legal fees and removals fees.
Research, research, research
Once you know the budget, research neighbourhoods. Really ask yourself what's important to you. Make a checklist of that; how many bedrooms are minimum? Do you need an ensuite bathroom? Does it need to be near a particular school? What type of house? Do you like character or new build homes? Are you happy to do some renovations or do you need a "ready to move in" property? Timescales for moving? The list is endless but if you work out what's important to you, it will make it easier to narrow down the choices and book viewings.
Most agents advertise through Rightmove and Zoopla. You will most likely find many possible houses through these portals. Driving round the chosen neighbourhoods will also reveal some property boards for houses that you may have missed online. We recommend making a shortlist and calling agents to book to view several properties at a time.
It's a good idea to keep your checklist handy of what features are really important to you. Don’t forget, when you’re on a viewing you can ask anything you like, the estate agent should be there to advise, or you could ask the sellers if they aren’t too busy to answer a couple of questions.
Here are some of our suggestions:
- Ask which council tax band the property falls in to
- Ask about the area, what it’s like and what is local
- Find out about transport links so you can work out how long it may take to get to work
- Ask to see a floorplan or measurements of the various rooms, so you can work out the total floor space, and work out if your furniture will fit
Make an offer
Once you’ve absolutely fallen in love with a property and want to call it home, call up the agent and let them know you wish to make an offer. The agent will act as a negotiator between yourself and the seller to help you reach a mutually agreeable offer.
Don’t be surprised if your first offer is turned down, remember that the seller will likely have a figure that they are expecting to be offered.
Once an offer is accepted, there is still plenty to do. You’ll employ the services of a solicitor to act on your behalf to arrange and negotiate all of the legal proceedings.
We have excellent solicitors to recommend, so everything can proceed strongly!
Additionally you may have a survey of the property conducted (which we recommend). This will be carried out by a chartered surveyor and will issue you with a report of the current structural condition of the house – this is important as it can pick up on expensive issues such as subsidence.
There is lots to say!
There is a lot that we can say here but because every situation is different, the best thing is to call us for any help.