If you’re a first-time buyer, you may not be aware of what to look for when buying a home. There are numerous qualities which you need to consider, where each homebuyer will have their own preferences. However, there are still similar things to check regardless of individual preferences.
Below we discuss eight of these factors you should consider when buying your first home.
It’s pretty evident that the location will be an important factor to think about when purchasing a home. You’ll want to take into consideration the following:
- Travel from home to work.
- The neighbourhood you’re moving into.
- Distance from important family or friends.
- Distance from necessary facilities such as hospitals, vets, gyms, shops, etc.
Although the location requirements will change on the individual’s needs, it’s more than worth thinking about before making the final decision. The last thing you want is to move into a home that isn’t convenient for your lifestyle. For example, if you travel abroad regularly, you may want to move close to an airport.
2. Age of The House
The general age of the property is an important factor. Although this depends on any previous renovations, you’ll find that the overall housing technology in older homes is outdated.
Something that may have been considered groundbreaking technology 50+ years ago is not likely to be now. As the world of construction develops, there have been new pioneering solutions to ensure our plumbing systems, house electrics, and overall structure can last much longer than they once did.
Buying an old house has its pros and cons. Pro, you’ll be able to achieve a design that new homes just don’t offer. Con, you may run into further troubles such as your building structure.
If you want to purchase an older home, you should have a significant budget for either an emergency fund or for renovations. Something else you should also be aware of is building codes. Depending on the building’s age, there might be some restrictions on what you’re able to renovate.
Another factor to think about before buying a home is the size of the property. Try to consider your future in this. Something that may be an ideal size now, might not be in 5-10 years. If you can, think about what your future might entail with additional family members.
Before buying, you should also have a clear understanding of your overall lot size. This includes the house, front and rear gardens, garage, additional parking spaces, etc. You will find all of this information on the title deeds.
4. Kitchen Design
Most families spend the majority of their time together in their kitchen and diner. If you’re a family that spends a significant amount of time in these areas, you may want to think about the kitchen’s overall design.
Have an idea of what your dream kitchen would consist of and try to replicate it with your new home. Kitchens can be a costly renovation if you purchase a home that doesn’t have the requirements you’re looking for.
However, if you’re a family that doesn’t spend much time here. You may want to reduce the kitchen’s size and maybe opt-in for more living room or garden space if you prefer these living quarters.
5. Number of Bedrooms
The perfect number of bedrooms will depend on your family size and the future plans you have for your family. Again, similar to the thinking about the size of the house. The number of bedrooms is the same if you’re considering extending your family in the near future.
If this is the case, it may be more beneficial to purchase a home with more bedrooms than you currently need. If you work from home a lot, you may want to consider an additional bedroom which you can convert into a home office.
Think about the number of bathrooms and also the bathroom’s locations. You’ll need to ask yourself the following questions, “how many bathrooms do we need as a family?” and “where would I personally like the location of the bathroom?“.
Once you’re able to answer these, it will make your house choice much more straightforward. For example, you may want a bathroom upstairs and downstairs to accommodate guests when they’re around. .
“Estate agents estimate that a downstairs family bathroom takes some £13,500 or 6% off the value of the average property in the UK.”Ray Clancy, Property Wire
At the same time, some homeowners may prefer just having a bathroom downstairs, which will dramatically reduce the property’s price
Before purchasing the property, see what appliances come with it. They can be a rather expensive part of buying a house and the more appliances that are included upon purchase, the better. For example, kitchen appliances such as your oven, hobs, etc.
When we bought our first house, the previous owners said they will leave the oven and dishwasher if we wanted them. We said yes and it was added to the exchange deed documents as part of the deal!
If you’ve found your ideal home, but there are a few issues, you should calculate roughly how much they will cost to fix. If it’s something as simple as re-painting a room, you may not need to budget this. But if you’re going for a major renovation that adds value, you may want to gather some quotations beforehand.
In terms of maintenance, if you’re moving into an older home, you may want to think about having some type of maintenance fund in the event something needs fixing. With newer homes, this issue is reduced massively, and your home may still have some kind of warranty against it.
8. Asking price
Lastly, the home’s value will play a huge role in whether you should purchase the property or not.
The best piece of advice we can offer is to create a budget that is comfortable for you and stick with it. Don’t just budget for the property, but all of the fees, possible renovations, removal costs, and home insurance. After all, you’ll need to pay these anyways, so it’s worth creating an accurate budget before you make an investment into a house.
Remember, negotiation is always on the cards. You don’t necessarily have to put in an offer for the official asking price. To make the negotiation more successful, you should get a survey completed on the house to uncover any issues that may not be visible to the eye. Being able to supply information on why you’re negotiating will always help your case.
You don’t want to save up for a house, overpay, then find out you need more money to fix things!
As you can probably see, there are many factors that you need to consider when buying any kind of property. They will affect the where, what, how, and if you can buy a house. Also, depending on the type of mortgage you want, lenders may have different policies that are affected by each of the above. Be sure to research, at the very minimum, the above and you will be on your way to a successful homebuying journey!
James Banerjee is an Account Director who graduated from the University of Kent in 2014. He works in SEO on clients such as HSBC UK and Nestle and he has a keen interest in personal finances and money-saving advice.