Buying your first home can be an exciting and stressful time. With so many properties available, it’s often impossible to know where to start! Some first time buyers go into the move knowing exactly what they want, whereas some are unsure of exactly what they are looking for.
If you’re a buyer who’s looking to invest in your first home, here are some things that you should always keep in mind.
Location, Location, Location!
It may seem obvious but this is one of the major factors in your house hunt. Whilst you may be drawn to a set area or neighbourhood, it’s important to consider how this location will affect your daily life. Getting to and from work on a daily basis should be as easy as possible; major traffic jams and extensive commutes will only add unnecessary stress to your lifestyle. Do you also have easy access to amenities when you need them, even if your car is unavailable? This might be an immediate concern but it is worth bearing in mind.
Getting the size right is tricky. Although many think that bigger is better, this is not always the case, especially if you have a small family. Whilst you want room to grow, too much space will leave you with a home that feels empty and cold. Often, you’ll get a good feeling when you’ve found the right size but having an idea of different ways of using spaces will definitely help. Understanding the building’s layout and where you can place your furniture will make sure that you get the most out of your space, both now and in the future.
We live in a digital world. Connecting to the internet has become part of our daily routine, for both personal and business purposes. So, before making a decision on a house, it’s worth checking with various providers to see what the mobile phone and broadband signals are like, as this will save you time and hassle later on. The Broadband Speed Checker is a great tool that lets you check broadband speeds in postcode areas for free – a must-do before you make the big move!
Have a look at the surrounding areas of your potential home. Is the property close to an airport, railway line or motorway? These are important factors to consider and while you will get accustomed to it over time, at first the noise will be downright annoying. It’s also worth visiting the property at different times, to see if the noise levels are consistent.
Often a neglected area of a property for sale, the garden can be a big selling point for potential buyers. Gardens are personalised outdoor havens, as well as safe places for your family to enjoy. Whilst some first time buyers may be put off by a garden that is overgrown, it’s important to remember that there are cheap solutions to fixing up an untidy garden, such as plant bed edging. However, major repairs such as damage to fence panels and pathways can be costly to mend, so it is important to assess potential gardens properly.
Damp and mould
This is an important one, so pay attention! Damp and mould can be indicators of much bigger problems that some current owners and estate agents may try to gloss over. To avoid any future nasty surprises, ask for records of any prevention treatments that have been previously used, as if the damp is extensive and still coming back then it can lead to forking out later on and possible weakening of the wooden structure in your home. Obvious signs of damp and mould include paths on the ceiling, walls and behind sofas. In severe cases, fungal growths can also be spotted. Even if damp can’t be seen, it could still be there, so look for dark places that might see a lot of moisture.
Basement waterproofing is also a concern and if you are considering a location where flooding is a possibility, then you need to ensure that your building is well protected to stop the damage from spreading. There are a variety of specialist services available to help with this.
There is always a lot to take in when house hunting, so make plenty of visits if you think you like somewhere (just to be sure). Whilst your home is a place that will evolve with you (and so it’s important to be open to change), the points listed above are things that you shouldn’t have to compromise on.
Happy house hunting!