Thorough research of the market is the best way to get your feet up in front of the fire in your ideal home.
Do your homework
Getting the home of your dreams may seem difficult, but the process can be simplified by carrying out careful research of the market.
Visit the nearest town and have a good look in the estate agents’ windows. Take your time to work out a full picture of the market in the area.
The way people buy property has revolutionised over recent years. The very first thing any modern house hunter should do is to log onto the internet where a wealth of information about the local housing market can be found.
Many websites give average prices of property and local area information. You can also house hunt from your armchair using other websites. If you use www.propertylive.co.uk to search for property, you are guaranteed to use one of our members and get all the benefits associated with that.
You should also look at the property in local newspapers where you are interested in living. This will give you a good guide to house prices in the area.
Next, take a drive around the areas you are considering. Look at the types of properties that are around there. Take a note of what facilities are nearby and how close any train or bus routes are. Work out how long your commute might be. Go for a walk around any areas which you like and look out for any ‘For Sale’ signs, and which estate agents they belong to.
After that, visit the nearest town and have a good look in the estate agents’ windows. Take your time to work out a full picture of the market in the area. When you have a mortgage in principle in place, it is then the time to pay a visit or make a phone call to the agent who you perceive to have the strongest presence in the market for the type of home you are looking for.
Arm yourself with any questions which you cannot answer yourself. Tell the estate agent your guide price range, but be flexible – you can look at houses above your budget in a slowing market, as there may be opportunity for negotiation.
Keep in mind the prime principle of property buying – location, location, location. Many argue that a smaller property in a better location will hold its value better and have a stronger resale value, than a larger home in a less desirable area.
Once you have a clear understanding of the market and what it can offer, you will be in a better position to act quickly when your estate agent, (who should be a member of the NAEA!), shows you the right property. You will also be able to express better to the estate agent exactly what you are looking for, which will save time all round.
Happy house hunting!