By | Linda Carter
Buying a house is always going to be one of the most important financial decisions you make, particularly if it’s your very first step on to the property ladder. If you go in all guns blazing, it can be a costly and stressful experience. But if you have the right attitude and approach it in the right way it can actually be an incredibly exciting and rewarding experience. Half the battle is understanding the decisions you need to make right at the start of the process, which we’ll be taking you through below.
- What is your budget?
The average house price in the UK is currently around £250,000, though it’s worth taking into account that this includes properties in London as part of the average and London proprieties can be valued as much as 5 or 6 times the value of a similar property based elsewhere. If you’re just starting out on the property ladder, it’s important to have realistic expectations and stay within your budget. Set an absolute maximum before you even start looking and don’t go over that maximum no matter how tempting it might be.
- Do you go new or old build?
A new build may be more expensive but it will have newer appliances and have significantly fewer things wrong with it that need patching up. You can, effectively, move in with your stuff and live in it from day one. Old builds, however, will most likely need some work, which will cost time and money. It could also have some nasty surprises in store like damp or asbestos and the last thing you want to be worrying about when settling into a new home is filing asbestos claims with a solicitor.
- Where do you want to live?
There will be a multitude of factors built into this decision. Your job, your family, your friends and simply the kind of places you prefer to spend time. Do you want to live in the middle of nowhere or in the centre of everything? In a major city or the suburbs? Or perhaps you want more bang for your buck so would be willing to settle in a town on the outskirts and commute into work?
- Do you want a detached, semi or terrace?
Generally speaking, detached homes are the more desirable and expensive but that doesn’t mean you should overlook semi-detached or terraced properties when viewing properties. Indeed, terraced properties often have a Victorian charm to them that can overwrite the fact you have immediate neighbours on both sides. The semi, meanwhile, is very much the middle-ground option.
- Do you need a solicitor?
Finally, buying a home isn’t as simple as going into the estate agents and saying “I’ll take it.” There are many wheels within wheels to consider. Your estate agent will act as your vendor and will often recommend a solicitor they work in partnership with. But you should always do your own research too.