Buying a house for the very first time can feel like a confusing puzzle. Unless you know of people who have already bought, that feeling of uncertainty can be quite overwhelming. First things first, before signing any paperwork and agreeing to any mortgage, you need to go through the basics of buying to ensure you make the best possible decision.Knowledge is keySo you’re not sure where you want to move to yet? That’s completely normal. An advantage of buying is you get to research as many potential areas as possible, therefore coming to realise what you’re looking for in a location and what you’re not too bothered about. The start of the year rather than the end is also a great time to start your search. So location and season are both really vital. Depending on your personality, you’ll want somewhere that fits your criteria. If you’re moving a family of young children, check out the local nurseries and schools. Local newspapers are a great source of research and of course the internet. If you’re moving a family of older children, are you close to a city? What are the colleges, sixth forms and universities like nearby? Rather than buying purely based on the appearance of a house, you really need to make a balanced list of pros and cons. And location and nearby attractions, amenities, transport and education couldn’t be more important. Search and seekOver 80% of home searches are found using the internet. The web is key to finding and comparing the best and the worst available on the market at the moment. Along with magazines, newspapers, estate agents and word of mouth, the web is probably the biggest search platform for seeking out your ideal home. Remember to broaden your horizons a little. You might not find your perfect home, but you may find some alternatives. For example, say you find a lovely four-bedroom house close to a train station and a big supermarket, yet there is only one bathroom but you wanted two. Or there isn’t a pub close by. Think outside the box. You can play around with your new home once you’ve bought it. It’s yours. There might not be a local pub close by but what about the restaurants? Is there a great pub 15 minutes away instead? There is no such thing as perfection when it comes to your dream home. You have to work on it and come up with liveable solutions.Time after timeWhen it comes to buying for the first time, the truth is, this can take weeks, months, and even years before you sign and seal it. But time couldn’t be a keyer ingredient to building a new life and finding what suits your needs. If you’re renting somewhere, perhaps time is a little less available, but you’re living there temporarily. When you buy, you need to take as long as possible to find the right home for you. Don’t base your final decision purely on your own opinion, bring in a team of experts – friends, families and housing advisors.Signed and sealedWhen you’ve finally found a home worth buying, don’t stop researching altogether. Carry on building up a good file of information and make sure you’re 100% sure this is where you want to live. If you’re taking out a mortgage, make sure you’ve got this finalised before signing. Keep in close contact with your estate agent and make sure the deal is within your budget. Once signed, the house is yours so make sure you make the most out of it.
Before You Buy: The Moving House Checklist
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