Searching for a new home is a highly involved task, and one that can cause a great deal of stress. With the market moving in mysterious ways, and with mortgage rates causing concern amongst homeowners, it’s certainly an interesting time to buy a home.
There are some evergreen considerations that prospective buyers should keep in mind, and also some new factors to consider. With that in mind, what should you be looking for when choosing a new home?
Perhaps the single most important part of your house-buying decision is location. In a general sense, location can have major repercussions in terms of property price and ease of purchase. Areas with good transport links and highly-rated schools are more likely to experience high demand than less well-connected areas, and as such may see significant price appreciation in comparison to other neighbourhoods.
Developing areas are a strong contender for finding reasonably-priced homes. A relatively new neighbourhood with new-build properties and a developing infrastructure can be a good find, as prices will only increase as the neighbourhood develops.
Size and layout
The next major decision is the shape and size of the homes you are considering. Space is always at a premium, and everyone would naturally like room to expand. However, space comes at a significant price, particularly in urban areas.
This is especially true when it comes to outdoor spaces. These can be costly, depending on where you are looking, and could significantly skew the results of property searches within your chosen budget.
As for the property itself, size does not always translate to space. Understanding the floor plans, and how room shapes feel in person, is key to knowing what you are getting into with property layouts.
Condition and maintenance
When you start viewing properties, it’s important to keep their condition at the forefront of your mind. There are trade-offs that can be made with regard to renovations and decoration, but there are some problems that are simply too much hassle. If you notice any symptoms of rising or structural damp on a viewing, for example, this could be an indication that the costs of repairing the home would be significant.
Finally, a new concern for first-time buyers emerges in the form of energy efficiency. Between the high cost of domestic energy and the growing climate crisis, energy-efficient homes are more important than ever. It’s a good idea to consider homes with efficient alternatives to conventional central heating systems, or generally with a high EPC rating.
Choosing a new home is an extremely personal decision, even with certain objective factors such as property condition factored into the equation. You are the only person that can know if a property is right for you, but considering the facts can help you arrive at your decision with more confidence.