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Choosing a home is by no means an easy or fast process. In fact, most of the time, it can be extremely long, drawn out, and stressful. But this isn’t all too surprising! At the end of the day, this is the place where you will spend the majority of your free time. It’s where you will carry out menial day to day tasks and processes, such as sleeping, preparing meals and eating, washing, and cleaning. So you need it to be functional. You should also bear in mind that you will head back here at the end of a long day working, socialising, or doing whatever else it may be that you spend your time doing. So you’re going to want it to be comfortable too!
Now, you don’t necessarily have to stay in the first property you choose for a long time. But it’s generally best to find the right one to suit your needs straight off the bat! Why? Well, moving home can prove to be time consuming and expensive. You are likely to have to take time off work to move and you’re going to have to pay all sorts of expenses, such as removals companies and redecorating costs. So, the fewer times you have to move, the more time and money you will save. Here are a few things to put on your checklist to help yourself find the perfect home as soon as possible!
Finding the Right Agency
Before you get started with the process of finding a home, it’s a good idea to find a high quality agency like Redrow, who will be dedicated to finding the perfect property to suit all of your needs. This will make the entire process a lot smoother. While it may be tempting to browse online estate agents’ books independently, actually collaborating with an agent will help you to find the property of your dreams as quickly as possible. After all, they will be able to alert you to newly available properties before they are even visible on the market. Getting your foot in the door first can give you an edge over competition.
Buying or Renting
The next major decision that you need to make is whether you are planning on buying or renting a property. There are, of course, plenty of benefits that come hand in hand with each, and whichever you choose will ultimately fall down to your personal circumstances. If you’re looking for a roof over your head, but aren’t ready to commit to settling down, renting might be an ideal option for you. All you have to do is put down a relatively small deposit (this is usually equal to one month’s rent or a month and a half’s rent) and the first month’s rent – then you’re usually set to move in. You can also opt for short term tenancies. Most tenancies will last a year, but some landlords will be willing to offer shorter or longer contracts if you negotiate with them. Buying, on the other hand, tends to be more suitable for individuals who are planning on staying in a set place for an extended period of time and building a home. This, however, is a more complex and expensive process in the short term. You have to gather a much larger deposit (usually ten to twenty percent of the property’s total value). Once you have decided whether to buy or rent, you can start browsing properties for sale or rent!
You really should set out a realistic budget before you start searching for properties. There’s no point in browsing properties that are out of your price range. You will simply see spaces that you like and feel disappointed that you can’t really live in them. Save yourself a whole lot of time by figuring out how much you can afford to spend on a place to live and then limit your search within these parameters. Remember that you are going to have to be able to afford much more than just the mortgage payments or rent payments. Consider additional living expenses! These could include:
- Council Tax – this is a tax levied on households by the government. It is estimated by the overall value of the property and the number of people living in it. While you do need to pay this, remember that if you live alone you will be eligible for an automatic single person’s 25% discount.
- Energy Bills – your home is going to need energy to run. Some will require electricity and gas, some will simply run on electricity, but regardless, you’re going to have to fork out for these supplies.
- Water Bills – contrary to popular belief, water isn’t free! You have to pay for clean water to be pumped into your property and a fee for sewage to be drained away. So don’t forget to include this in your budget.
- Broadband – whilst internet isn’t essential, it is something that the majority of us will want access to while we are at home. Whether that’s to save using data on our smartphones, or to be able to use our tablets, laptops, and computers in our living spaces.
Once you’ve figured out how much a property is going to cost you, you can determine whether you can seriously put an offer in for it or not.
The next factor that you need to take into account is location. It’s a good idea to leave near to other places that you spend a lot of time. If you work in a particular location, have family in a particular location, or spend a lot of time with friends in a particular location, you can save yourself a whole lot of time and money in commuting and travelling less if you simply live there! An alternative take is if you want your home to be a safe haven away from the hustle and bustle of your day to day life. In this case, you might feel more comfortable living in a more rural or further out spot.
By this point, you’ve whittled down your search significantly. You will be looking for a property to either buy or rent in a specific location. So, how can you pick between the options on offer? Size is a good place to start! The size of property that you need will depend on your personal circumstances. If you live alone, you may be absolutely fine in a studio apartment or a one bedroom apartment. If you have a large family and dependants, you may want to look into a larger house. If you are willing to fork out a little more, you could also look at properties that have more room than you require. This extra space could be used for spare rooms, entertainment rooms, or put to other uses.
These really are just the basics to draw into consideration when you are looking for a property. But it’s astounding how many people don’t take all of this things into account properly and find themselves in a home that is out of their budget, in an inconvenient spot, or is too large or small for them. This results in them having to move somewhere new much sooner than they had originally anticipated, and also results in a whole lot of wasted time and money incorporated into the process. So, be sensible, be patient, and bear the above advice in mind. Do all of this and you should be in the property of your dreams before you know it.