The Secrets Of Finding Your Ideal Home
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The Secrets Of Finding Your Ideal Home

Buying a new home is about much more than simply buying a house. It’s about buying a lifestyle. Plus, it’s also the most expensive purchase of your life, so you want to make sure you get it right.

Whether you want a quiet rural retreat, an urban townhouse or the best of both worlds, it can be hard to find that ‘ideal’ home. Yes, there are many homes out there which would be functional, but are they the place you’d want to call home?

Plus, there’s also tough competition out there – with far more house hunters than there are houses. According to the Telegraph, for every ‘ideal home’ you fall in love with, there are four other buyers equally in love with its charms. Although this may make your search for your ‘dream home’ even harder, it’s far from impossible. Here are 4 things to consider when choosing a home:

1. Location

Location is perhaps the most important factor to consider when choosing a home. Even if you love the house itself, if looking out the window makes you feel depressed, your morning commute leaves you exhausted and you end up traveling an hour just to spend the weekend where you really want to be, then the area just isn’t right for you.

The area has to suit your lifestyle. It should be a compromise between where it is convenient for you to live, where you can afford and where you actually want to spend your evenings and weekends.

And while the only inspiring thing about some areas is a low price, others may be lovely but not suitable for you or your family. Here are the four most important aspects of a location:

Transport links

Convenient access to transport always makes an area popular. And while being near a train station, motorway or airport may be convenient, it can also lead to noise pollution and increased traffic. You need to consider whether this is a necessity, if not, you may prefer a quieter location.

Green Spaces

Whether this means open countryside, a nearby park or just a large garden, being near green spaces is a high priority for most people. This is particularly the case if you are looking for a family home in a large city, where there is more concrete than grass. A house near a park, where your children can play, could be a winner.

Amenities

You need to take a good look around the area and decide whether this is somewhere you want to spend most of your free time. Ask yourself, does this location offer me the lifestyle I want? Whether you’re after a thriving café culture, cosmopolitan shopping, vibrant nightlife or top quality sports facilities, see what the area has to offer.

Schools

If you have children, then a good school nearby is a must. But even if you haven’t, there are still benefits to looking into the local schools. Good schools can greatly benefit the community – there is usually a correlation between good schools and a low crime rate.

As well, as the amenities that are already there, you’ve also got to consider what the future has to offer. If you look for an up-and-coming area, not only will the value of your house increase, but you’ll get the benefit of brand new facilities on your doorstep.

One good way to spot if an area is on the rise, is to see whether this location has had a significant investment lately. For example, are there plans to build new housing, new leisure facilities and transport links. You can also spot a bright future, if run-down, grimy pubs are becoming gastro-pubs and bargain shops are becoming boutique stores.

2. The House

If you’ve found a house in a location you love then you are one step closer to getting the keys to your ‘dream home’. However, when viewing a property you should be looking for potential instead of perfection. Try to not to dwell on what it looks like now, but what it could look like. It is very rare to find a ‘readymade’ home which ideal for you.

Most buyers are looking for a ‘blank canvas’ on which they can project their style. But unless you buy a brand new home, it is unlikely that any house will be ‘blank’. Try not to be put off by the present owner’s whacky décor or cluttered lifestyle – transforming bold patterns into neutral colours is a simple task.

You’ll also need imagination when looking for potential in the layout. If the current design really doesn’t work for you, then you can always redesign it. Knocking down an interior wall is usually quite inexpensive and easy to do.

3. Budget

Money is what holds many people back from getting their ‘dream home’. But this doesn’t have to be the case – if you’re willing to compromise then you can find a home that is ideal for your family in your budget, it just takes a bit of imagination.

You need to be realistic about your budget and decide what you are willing to compromise on. Your home should be your haven, somewhere where you can unwind – so you don’t want it to become a financial burden. Your dream home can only become a reality if you can afford it.

4. Check for problems

Before buying your ‘dream house’, you should always check that there are not going to be any nasty surprises later on. Without the correct research and surveys, your dream house could become a nightmare.

Always make sure you visit an area at night. When it gets dark, what seemed quiet and quaint could become rowdy if there are pubs nearby. Also, try to meet the neighbours to see whether they are likely to be noisy and ask the current owner whether they have had any problems. Although they may not answer entirely truthfully, it would be hard for them to disguise their feelings if they are moving due to noisy neighbours.

Get a professional opinion on the structural quality of the house and check whether there are any damp issues. This is particularly important if you are buying an older property. If the house is near a river, make sure to check whether that area is at risk of flooding.

Also, if you’re looking for a new build, then you have to consider which property to developer you choose. It’s important to find a reliable developer who builds sustainably and offers affordable prices and high-quality houses. Linden homes for example were named ‘House Builder of the Year’ for these reasons and their new housing estates in places like Swindon offer a welcome break for those tired of living in the capital. Try comparing the services offered by several developers before taking the plunge.

Once you’ve got all the information you need, you’re ready to buy your ‘ideal home’. It may not be easy but it certainly isn’t impossible to find a home which suits your family and lifestyle in the current turbulent market.

Do you have any tips for house hunters? Share your thoughts and experiences below.


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