Finding the right home: your simple guide

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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When it comes to making a home purchase, it's never a small or insignificant event. In fact, it has been proclaimed to be one of the most stressful and expensive life milestones that you will ever tackle, so any help will surely be appreciated won't it?

We think about houses, buildings and interior design schemes all day, everyday, so we turned our attention to the process of actually buying a house, to see if we could simplify it a tiny bit and we think we have managed to! Take a look at our top tips of things to think about when buying a new home and watch the stress just melt away!

1. Decide on your vital criteria

One Bedroom Wee House Patio:   by The Wee House Company
The Wee House Company

One Bedroom Wee House Patio

The Wee House Company

Before you really get started with a home purchase, you will need to think about what items are absolutely essential. Do you need a garage? Does the house absolutely have to be detached? It's all about getting a list of things that you cannot negotiate about or compromise on, right at the start. From here, you can tailor your search much more and avoid disappointment.

Don't look to include things that can be added later or are changeable, instead, really think about the area you want to live in and elements that you won't be able to do without right from the start.

2. Think about size and layout

Naturally, you'll want to get as much as possible for your money, but at the same time, you will also want to keep an eye on the size of your mortgage. With this in mind, have a good think about how big you need your house, both now and if that might change in the future, that way you can look to buy a home big enough to accommodate any family plans.

A home purchase takes so much thought that size and layout preferences can get rather left by the wayside in favour of aesthetics or area, but don't let that happen. If you are looking for a large home, with an open plan interior, such as this one from Wildblood Macdonald, don't simply 'make do' with a small home that features enclosed rooms, as you will always feel as though you compromised too far.

3. Consider your proximity

Two Bedroom Wee House - Caithness : classic Houses by The Wee House Company
The Wee House Company

Two Bedroom Wee House—Caithness

The Wee House Company

What are you going to need nearby your home? Will you need easy access to a school, public transport or amenities such as supermarkets? These might seem like obvious questions, but they will have a huge impact on your home purchase and if left unaccounted for, you could find yourself living in the middle of nowhere, in a fabulous house, that it takes over an hour to reach!

If you are actively seeking a quieter lifestyle, then by all means, don't give convenient proximity too much thought, but for those of you with busy families, it should be high on the list of considerations!

4. Decide on a budget

Outspan, Widemouth Bay, Cornwall: modern Houses by The Bazeley Partnership
The Bazeley Partnership

Outspan, Widemouth Bay, Cornwall

The Bazeley Partnership

This is an element that is often incredibly hard to stick to, especially if you 'accidentally' view a house that is a little beyond your means and you fall in love with it!

Regardless of if you see a truly spectacular house, with a swimming pool in the living room, if it isn't within your budget, you need to have the strength to walk away. There is little point in getting bogged down by enormous debt for your home purchase, as it is unlikely that the interior will be exactly to your taste, so you will need some free capital to adapt that. Set your budget and search within it, that way, you can be pleasantly surprised by what you could buy, rather than disappointed about what you can't.

5. Think about timeframes

Your home purchase could be heavily influenced by your plans for the property itself. Will it be a long-term, you plan to stay in it forever home, or are you going to develop and sell it on to hopefully make a profit? Either way, your decisions will be affected!

For forever home purchases, you can afford to be far more selective. If there is something you don't like or can't imagine finding the time to change, move on, that's not the house for you, but if you are simply buying to sell on, is it a feature that other people might like and pay top dollar for? 

6. Look at your surroundings

Not the same thing as considering your proximity to amenities, thinking about the surroundings that you want to live in will have an enormous impact on your new home purchase.

For those who find peace and tranquility amongst the trees, a cabin style house might be best, with no neighbours. If you are a fan of the sea, focus your search on coastal towns and for those of you who like something a little more dramatic, why not start searching for something with a mountain view? You need to assess where you have felt happiest in your life and seek too recreate the surroundings. Especially if this is a dream home purchase!

7. If all else fails

Here's a radical idea; if you can't find the house of your dreams and you are giving up hope, think about building your ideal home! At least that way, you will have to make no compromises, will have no option but to stay within budget, can choose your surroundings and can be as close to or far away from civilisation as you like. 

If a home purchase doesn't look to be on the cards, we really can't recommend a house build enough. It gives you huge flexibility and total control. Who doesn't like that?

For more home buying inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: Buying Your First Home.

What are your priorities when buying a house? Share your thoughts with us in the comments, below!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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