Five easy steps for successful home seeking

5 minute read.

Looking to buy a new home? 

Before you start looking and arrange viewings there are three main factors to consider: what you can afford, the type of home you’re looking for and where you want to live. Viewing properties before being certain about any of these factors is risky, not to mention a waste of time for both you and the Estate Agent. 

A successful property search requires focus and direction with three key factors – budget, space and location. What you can spend is the most important; the other two pieces need to fit around that. Here are five steps to a successful property search: 

1. Establish your budget

Speak to an independent mortgage adviser to get an idea of what your budget might be for the property purchase. This will largely depend on your salary (salaries if you are buying with someone else), your monthly outgoings, any outstanding debt you have and the size of the deposit you are putting down. 

2. Make a wish list (in order of priority)

Once you know what you can afford, list down what you want from the property. That means the style of home, number of bedrooms, kitchen size, commute time, local schools, garden etc. When you've done that, mark each requirement on an importance scale of 1-10 as it's likely you'll have to compromise on something down the line. 

3. Use free tools and information on the Internet

Use the information on the internet to research relevant property values in the locations you are interested in. There is also helpful information on property search websites for schools, commute times and history of properties previously sold in the area. 

4. Contact some local agents

Useful as they are, online tools and information are just a starting point. They won't replace speaking to an expert who has on-the-ground knowledge of the current local property market. Discuss your requirements with a few local Estate Agents who will be helpful and knowledgeable on the local area. 

5. Narrow down your search

With every viewing you will find out more about what you want, don’t want, and what you can and can’t afford. Use each viewing as a means of refining your criteria and potential compromises so that you can be more precise in what you are looking for and where. Make notes on your likes and dislikes of each property to refer back to.