So, you’ve decided that it’s time to buy your first home. But where do you start looking? It’s a big world out there and looking on the internet at houses for sale, or simply walking past an estate agents’ window can be overwhelming. The trick is to know what you want before you start looking. Otherwise, you won’t be able to filter the good from the bad.
Make A List
Making a list of the things you need and want in a house is the first step to finding somewhere that’s right for you. Separate out the things you absolutely need and the things that you would like, but that aren’t essential. Try not to put everything on the essential list! You want to be able to be flexible to an extent, even if you have some very specific needs. For example, you might need an accessible house, but perhaps it’s not such a big deal if you don’t get a second bathroom. Don’t just think about the inside of the house, but the outside too. Which areas are you looking at, does there need to be a school close by? Do you need shops in walking distance and do you want to live near other families?
Choosing an Estate Agent
When you start looking for your home for real, you might want to choose an estate agent to help you, or you might want to keep your options open. If you do decide to go with a particular estate agent, make sure you pick one who can give you what you want. Don’t pick someone who specialises in luxury apartments when you’re looking for a family home. Be specific in your search, for example, instead of searching for estate agents in Birmingham, look for estate agents in Acocks Green. You should have a rough idea of the area or areas where you want to live, even if you haven’t ironed out all the fine details of what you want in a house.
Going It Alone
If you decide not to go with an estate agent, it means you can keep your options wide open. However, it might also make you feel as if you’re floundering a little. Try to be systematic in your approach. You’ll likely be looking at properties online to begin with, so take advantage of the filters most sites have. If you know you need a garden, two bedrooms and you want a detached house, you can filter out anything that doesn’t fit your needs. You may soon learn which estate agents tend to have properties suitable for you – and perhaps you’ll choose to go with one of them after all.
Visiting a House
Finally, when you visit a house, be sure to ask questions and don’t be scared of being nosy. You must make sure you know what you’re getting into – it’s a big purchase and you can’t just take it back to the shop!