House-hunting can be a daunting experience, as can be seen from such TV shows as Location, Location, Location. When faced with room after room of new ideas and potential spaces in which to live your life, it can be easy to get caught up in your dream kitchen and forget to look out for the important things that could cause problems for you in the future.
Here are a few key things that you should always keep in mind when hunting for the perfect new home.
View the property more than once
This sounds like an obvious one but it is important nonetheless. A variety of factors can affect your decision on the day you first view a property: your mood, the weather, the time of year or the persuasiveness of the estate agent. Viewing a property on more than one occasion means that you get to see the house in a number of different ways, rather than just on a good or bad day. Visiting the property at different times will help you to get a feel for small but important details, such as which rooms get the most light, whether the house is warm or cold, and even the volume of traffic surrounding the property.
Visit the local neighbourhood
You will be spending a lot of time in the area surrounding your new home, so it is important to make sure that it is somewhere you feel safe, with amenities that will be useful to you and your family. Just because the property appears to be on an idyllic street doesn’t mean that the surrounding area is necessarily the same. If you are planning on having a family, be sure to check out the quality of the nearby schools and parks. If you have pets, you might want to see if there are places nearby to take dogs for walks, or whether or not you are near busy roads. It is a good idea to take a drive around your prospective neighbourhood at rush hour, to see whether or not it will be difficult for you to get to work.
Talk to the seller about their utility bills
If possible, you should chat to the seller about the kinds of bills they pay. If it is a large, old property, chances are it will be cold in the winter, and it is good to ask the previous inhabitants if they have any tips or tricks for saving energy and keeping heating costs down. The last thing you want is to move into your dream home and be hit by enormous bills.
Give yourself plenty of time
Make sure that you don’t have any other pressing arrangements while you are viewing a property. Ensure that you have as much time as you like to walk around the property and to ask questions. Forging a good relationship with the seller or estate agent will make you feel positive about your new home, and by giving yourself plenty of time, you will ensure that you don’t fail to spot any potential problems.