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Perfect Home Hunting- How To Find Your Ideal Property

Updated on April 20, 2016
Perfect home? Realistic? Within Budget?
Perfect home? Realistic? Within Budget? | Source

Finding a new home can be stressful and trying to find your perfect home, even worse! It always seems like not all the boxes are ticked with a certain property, and you can view so many that you forgot what you originally wanted in the first place.

Sometimes, looking for one particular thing can send you off on a tangent, looking at properties you otherwise would have missed. This hub will help you identify exactly what you are looking for in your search for your ideal home, and you can then easily make progress in choosing your property.

Be Realistic

Now, I know what it's like, trawling through property websites and driving through the more prosperous areas of the city. It can be all too easy to imagine yourself living in a 10 bedroom home with 3 reception rooms, a pantry, a utilities room and a maid to hep it all run...

If you'r budget will allow a mansion, congratulations!

But, chances are, like me, you have to get realistic about your situation and your budget. A budget buy in the middle of nowhere is useless if you don't drive, for example. Think about things realistically, and try not to let your heart skip over your head.

You should also be realistic about the time that everything can take. Finding the perfect home isn't going to be over in a day's worth of searching. It is likely to take 3-6 months of refined searching to find your perfect property, then a further 2-3 months to actually have all of the proceedings concluded.

Do you budget?

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Find Your Budget

It really is a great idea to have a meeting with your intended mortgage provider BEFORE you start house-hunting. They will be able to give you an idea of your maximum mortgage available, but also of how much deposit you need to save, what your monthly payments would be and how affordable it would be for you.

This is also a great time to look at your credit score, and make any improvements necessary to ensure approval of your mortgage.

Typically, your maximum mortgage available is 3x your annual salary. So, if there is more than 1 working person going for the mortgage, the chances are you will have access to more funds. That being said, you perhaps don't want the maximum available to you when you consider the monthly repayments in line with your cost of living.

Personally, I would like to leave some wiggle room for when the interest rates change, or the mortgage payment increases, so I decided against taking the highest amount possible and settled on the best monthly amount that I could easily afford. This means that in the event of an increase in outgoings or unexpected bills, I have a bit of breathing space to allow for that.

In order to find your affordability, I would recommend drawing up a list of all committed outgoings at present, and then another list of predicted outgoings when you have your own home. Outgoings to consider are:

  • Car payments/ insurance
  • Home & Contents insurance
  • Personal insurance/ life cover
  • Council tax/ water charges etc
  • Existing loans/ credit cards
  • Travel pass/ fuel costs
  • Energy- Gas and Electricity
  • Food & Sustenance
  • Clothes
  • Socialising

Remember to budget everything in that you think you may need, before signing up to a mortgage. It is better to include something in the budget that isn't required than be stung by a bill that you didn't think about.

Do your research into required expenditure that comes with home ownership as well as decorating and home improvement- it is unlikely you will find the perfect home, and it be decorated to your tastes, too.

Perfect Location?
Perfect Location?

What is your ideal location?

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Location and Links

Location is usually the big question. Most people have a list of places they simply wouldn't live in, yet much less of an idea of where they would live.

The idea of a good neighbourhood is often determined by a number of factors including crime rates, vandalism and whether there are any gangs hanging around the streets at night. It is important that you feel safe in and around your home at any time.

However many places that others would consider a bad area, aren't necessarily your idea of bad, Particularly if you have been living in said area long enough and are quite settled and comfortable there. It is up-to you where you live, and while getting opinions on areas or schools may influence your overall opinion, don't let it sway your decision completely.

You should carefully consider your location in terms of whether it is a good or bad neighbourhood, but also in terms of how easily accessible it is. Think of visitors with no car, or how you would get to work should the car have a fault- transport links and local amenities are important when considering your new property.

Bathroom is a must have!
Bathroom is a must have!

Must- Haves

You should consider everything that is absolutely essential to you. Think about the absolute minimum that you require in a house in order to live there comfortably. How many rooms do you need? How many Bathrooms? Reception areas? You could also include:

  • En-suite
  • Home office
  • Garden
  • Garage/Driveway
  • Hallway
  • Storage

It is amazing how easily nice to haves become must haves! If you absolutely couldn't even consider living in a property without a particular feature, then don't force yourself. Remember to be realistic, though.


Pantry- must have, or nice to have?
Pantry- must have, or nice to have?

Nice-to-haves

Now consider the things that would be an added bonus.You could consider things like:

  • Pantry
  • Conservatory
  • Loft-conversion
  • Utility Room
  • Dining Room
  • Craft Room
  • Music Room
  • Garage/ Driveway

Again, think in detail about things you would ideally have within the house. Again, these can easily turn into must-haves when you are actually reviewing them later on.

Organise Your Thoughts

Now I like to organise my thoughts onto a mind-map because you can easily use this to just storm through ideas, even if they are not relevant. You can then go over and review all of the information and highlight or circle your desirables.

You can do a list or a Pinterest board or a photo album or whatever you like- as long as your ideas and thoughts are recorded. This is important as you want to be able to refer back to your initial ideas, before they get skewed with viewings and other people's opinions.

Begin Your Search

Now you have organised all your thoughts, and fine tuned all of your requirements, you are ready to search. Start looking at property websites, being specific with your requirements as much as the search function allows. Start taking walks through neighbourhoods that you are interested in incase there is a house for sale not listed on the websites. Begin asking friends and family if they know of anyone selling or planning to sell their property.

Remember to consider all of the above mentioned points when looking at possible properties- is it affordable, does it tie in with your requirements? Does it have all of your must-haves? Any nice-to-haves in there for good measure?

Remember, booking a viewing does NOT mean that you have to buy the house. It simply means you are interested, possibly. Don't allow yourself to be harassed by the estate agent into a second viewing or a purchase if you aren't completely sold. Your house should feel right to you when you have found it.

Happy Home Hunting!

© 2014 Lynsey Harte

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    • sparkleyfinger profile image
      Author

      Lynsey Harte 2 years ago from Glasgow

      Thanks for your comment, Derek. Yes, I agree that little can be found about this on the web. Apart from ad's to property websites, that is!

    • profile image

      Derek 2 years ago

      Great hub, as there is very little on the net regarding this subject.

    • sparkleyfinger profile image
      Author

      Lynsey Harte 2 years ago from Glasgow

      I didn't even think to mention that, thanks Nell. It is definitely something we looked into a great deal. As light sleepers, we were sure we didn't want anyone above us, so decided on a top floor cottage flat or a terraced/ semi detached. We managed to get a terraced house for a really great price, so neighbours above are a thing of the past! You can get soundproofing boards.. Perhaps he could put them over his ceiling? Might help blot out some of the noise, plus only takes an inch or two of space. :-)

    • sparkleyfinger profile image
      Author

      Lynsey Harte 2 years ago from Glasgow

      Thanks Catherine! Yeah we can only hope that our move is our last. My partner has lived in lots of different places, so really want him to have a proper home :-) obviously we can't predict the future, and as our income increases, our property potential does, too! Not sure I'm cut out for it all again though lol

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I once had a log cabin in a rural area with 8 acres of land. Now I live in the suburbs. I hope I have bought my last house, but you never know. You give very good advice for things to keep in mind when house-hunting.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Great advice! My brother recently bought a new flat, and he didn't realise just how much thought had to go into it, luckily its fine, but he never thought about who was going to be in the flat above him, and yes they are pretty noisy! luckily its quite solid so not too bad, but he does get annoyed at them, great hub!