Monday, 17 June 2019

LIFESTYLE | WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING YOUR 'FOREVER HOME'

collaborative post

A few weeks ago, Kev moved in with me after being together for just under two years; everyone else said it was a huge step to take but to me, it was just 'natural progression' - I'd never put pressure on him to make the move or anything like that, I was quite happy to move at his pace but I know that it's not always as plain sailing as it seems to have been for us. Obviously I've got my own house that I bought as a first timer buyer 18 months ago so the house we moved into wasn't in the equation. However, I've always said from day one of buying this house that it's not a 'forever home' and we're both keen to find something else when the time is right.

We've done some property searches and sorted our 'non-negotiables' such as the kind of area we want (and don't want!) to be in, having at least 3 bedrooms, a decent garden etc. but it's so difficult to find that perfect property and waiting for the 'right' one to come up can be so frustrating if you're not careful. We've both said that we need to be as relaxed as possible about it otherwise what should be quite an exciting time could turn into an unnecessarily stressful time.


Be Patient!

To be honest, when you've got your heart set on something the last thing you want to be is patient but unfortunately, the property market is a dynamic and unpredictable force, especially as a buyer. There's so many things to consider when buying a new property and we both know that we need to remain calm and collected during this process. There is every chance we will have our heart set on a property only for it to fall through due to miscommunication from the sellers. There’s a chance that you’ll be at the final stage of the process only to reveal in your house inspections that thousands of pounds worth of damp damage occupies the bathroom, and was somehow hidden expertly during your viewings. Obviously these would be unfortunately if they were to happen but it's important to appreciate that, especially if you and the other buy is in a chain, they can happen.

Be Realistic

There’s a careful tight-rope walk we have to balance ourselves to complete when searching for a property. On one hand, you’re looking to the future. For that, we'll naturally be searching for the best and most idealistic property and lifestyle we can hope for within our budget. This can help identify the good properties, and also fight for the things that we truly want, such as going to the highest end of your budget to secure a house you love. But at the same time, despite this idealism, we know we need to remain incredibly realistic. For us, a property at the top end of our budget would need to have the perfect kitchen and bathroom because they'd be the things that we would need to spend money on if they weren't right.

A property that needs a lot of work doing to it isn't our idea of a perfect property, although we can see potential in some of the most beautiful renovation projects the hours we work are too long to consider coming home to a building site for a length of time when we move into the house. Any new home is a project to an extent which does take work to get it where you want it so this is definitely something we will be considering when we buy our home together.

Know what you want

As I mentioned before, we already have ideas of our non-negotiables which can make house hunting much easier in terms of excluding the properties that you know you definitely don't want. But it's also worth considering what you don't mind compromising on. For example, you might be more willing to accept a driveway in deep need of repair if the kitchen is spacious and has great natural lighting and ventilation. This is where writing a list of your most important priorities, your ‘must-haves’ and ‘would-likes’ can be a great idea.

On the flip side, it might be worth considering a new build which tends to be a more custom solution with extras and additions that you can choose to suit your needs. Professional home builders such as Redrow can potentially offer you this, with new builds and design services to truly help you find the best of the best within your budget.

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