Finding a new home which ticks all the boxes
It goes without saying that house-hunting can be a time-consuming exercise. But it doesn’t have to be too taxing – especially if you take a planned, organised approach. To speed up the process, here are our top tips for finding a new home which ticks all the boxes.
Make a list
Be honest: what does your new home absolutely have to have, and what can you live without? List your requirements in order of importance – whether that’s a big kitchen, lots of storage space or an easy-to-maintain garden – and keep the list handy when you go for viewings. If you want to be really organised, install an app like Wunderlist on your smartphone and tick the boxes as you view.
Once you’re clear about the type of property you’re looking for, it’s time to start searching and booking viewings. Be relentless with your search, and don’t compromise by looking at houses that don’t tick the right boxes. To filter out the houses that don’t meet your requirements, use the advanced search feature on your preferred property websites, and don’t go on a viewing unless a house meets your ‘must-have’ features.
Get the professionals on board
If you’re hunting for a property, enlist all the help you can get by getting an estate agent on board to help with both the sale of your current home, if you have one, and your search for a new one. A good agent will listen to your exact requirements. They should let you know as soon as a suitable property comes onto the market, so you’re in a good position to snap it up if it fits the bill.
If you’re looking at new build properties, make sure you ask the developer lots of questions when you visit the show home or book a viewing. Many larger new build developments have on-site sales advisers who know the development inside out. They will advise you on all aspects of your purchase, including recommendations for which solicitors, mortgage advisers or removal companies you could use.
Either way, they’re there to help, so make the most of their expertise at every opportunity.
Take pictures and videos
On your viewing, ask permission to take pictures and videos on your phone, especially when it comes to the nitty-gritty features like heating systems and security alarms. With everything documented, you can cross-reference your tick list and make sure you’re making a decision with your head and not your heart.
Consider Help to Buy
Although the number of first-time buyers in the UK is at a nine-year high, we know how difficult it can be to find a house within your budget that ticks all of the boxes. If you’re struggling to find a house that meets your requirements, it’s well worth considering the UK Government’s Help to Buy scheme.
Help to Buy is available to homeowners and first-time buyers, requires you to have a smaller deposit of 5% and provides you with a loan up to 20% of the value of the property, meaning you’ll only need a 75% mortgage.
If you need to spend some extra time saving, use the Help to Buy ISA to maximise your savings. Our Help to Buy Calculator uses your mortgage cost, length, interest rate and the amount you want to pay each month to give you a clearer understanding of your mortgage.