Buying property has always been lauded as a great way to protect your money and enjoy a rise in your investment, but with current housing demands outstripping the supply, you need to savvy as to which property you invest in. You need to be quick off the mark; you also need to make sure that the property meets your family’s current and future needs and is in a location that benefits your lifestyle. You may have to make compromises to your wish list, but here are 3 tips to help you find the property that you can turn from a house into a home.
You need to review your finances so that you know how much you can afford for a mortgage. Remember that a house is an asset, and like any other form of investment, prices are not guaranteed to inflate! Don’t overstretch yourself; you need to be able to pay for the monthly payments but also afford utilities, council tax and living expenses. Get an agreement in principle from your mortgage advisor before you start looking, so that if you find a property, you can be quick to act.
Before you even start looking for a property, make a list of what you want from the house. You may require an extra bedroom, a separate playroom for the children, a driveway; once you have your list, prioritise them with necessities at the top of the list, and what you consider as a luxury towards the bottom.
Once you know what you want, you can then start to consider where you want to live, such as within an hour’s commute from work, within walking distance of good schools, near friends and family.
Photocopy a map so that you can shade in areas that are attractive to you because this allows you to easily visualise how houses that fall outside of your ideal area may still tick your search boxes, should you need to compromise on location.
3. Online search
The days of trawling estate agents’ windows are long gone, and you can now access a huge number of properties online. Rightmove allows you to set an area search and it will send you alerts when a property comes on the market that meets your criteria; however, this means that you may miss out on a property that you could consider if you compromise on your list – keep active in your search.
There are also websites that list properties that are for auction such as Allsop and Barnard Marcus. These are often repossessions and can provide the ideal hunting ground for a bargain. Request a catalogue of the lots and make sure you visit the property. Some of the properties will need a complete renovation and in some circumstances decontaminating. In these situations, a company such as Advanced Bio-Treatment will be able to provide a professional service to remove any human or animal biohazards, so don’t be put off properties that require intensive cleaning.
The property market is swift moving, and you need to be in a position to move quickly to get the house that you would like. You need to know what you want and the location that you would like to live in. However, don’t discount properties that you haven’t seen if you think that they can be improved on in time to meet your demands; you may even get a bargain! Good luck!