What you need to know before buying a property #2

Can you tell we ourselves are looking at moving up the property ladder? For many, young people, the idea of buying a property is something of a cruel joke. And we are feeling it! 

You take a look at the house prices, have a look at your bank account, and think, sometimes rightly but often not, that home ownership is a dream that’ll never be realised!

However, it’s important to keep in mind that owning your own place isn’t some far-flung dream – it is possible, though it won’t be easy!

I have posted a many content on buying your first property, moving up the ladder, and everything you need to consider before taking the plunge either in your first, or next home.

Since there is sooo many aspects to consider, I thought I’d post a second edition, for everything else you need to consider when purchasing property. Catch up with the previous post here, and listen up for more considerations.

Your Budget Is the Biggest Thing

The actual property you’re looking at buying is important, sure, but it’s not as important as your budget. This is key! Before you begin looking at what’s available, take the time to figure out your finances and decide how much money you’re able to comfortably spend on your property. Note the key phrase there – comfortably spend! If you have to stretch your finances thin each month just to afford your mortgage payments, then your enjoyment of your home is going to be severely compromised. It’s all too tempting to think “oh, we can stretch our budget for THIS home,” but fair warning, this approach will only end in tears sooner or later.

It’s Not Something to be Rushed

You’ve spent a long time saving up the money for your deposit, why would you rush the home buying process now? Like most other things in life, you’ll be well served by showing an ounce of patience during your search. You’re going to be living with this decision for years to come; you want to make sure that you’re making the right decision! It’s all too easy to get excited by the prospect of owning your own home, but take your time, and only take the next steps along the home owning process once you’re sure you’ve found the right property for you.

There Are Needs, and There Are Wants

No house is going to have everything you’re looking for in a property. But there are some things that will be non-negotiable; these should be in your “needs” list. The other things, the aspects of a home that are desirable but non-essential should be in your “wants” list. Finding the property that’s right for you is not about finding a balance between these two lists; it’s about making sure that everyone one of your “needs” is there – in an ideal world, they’d have a few “wants” too. Of course, you’ll need to be a little bit strict with yourself. As much as you’d like to think otherwise, a walk-in closet is not an essential component of a home.

There Will be Compromises

As we said before, you’re not going to find a property that has everything. All of life is a compromise. You try to get what you want, and then when that doesn’t work out, you go to the next best thing. It’s the art of the compromise, and you’ll need to have this skill in abundance when it comes to looking for the right property.

But You Should Avoid Buyer’s Remorse

Having said that, don’t go overboard with the compromises. There’s no reason why you should “settle.” If you find that you’re not enthusiastic about a property, then pull the plug. Making too many compromises will only lead to buyer’s remorse, which, once you factor in the cost and the length of time you’ll be living with the problem, can be one of life’s biggest regrets. Understand what you’re buying, be happy about it, and you’ll avoid this issue.

The Neighbourhood Is Just As Important

You might be buying a house, but there’s a neighbourhood thrown into the mix for free with it, too. In many ways, the neighbourhood is just as important as the property! You want to feel safe and secure walking home, don’t want to be disturbed by loud traffic or neighbours, and want to have all the conveniences of modern life on your doorstep. Not much to ask, is it! Before putting an offer in on a house, it’s recommended that you spend a significant amount of time in the local area. You’ll get a feel for what life would be like if you lived there – and may avoid any nasty surprises further on down the line.

You’ll Need Other People

No-one buys a property on their own – or at least, they shouldn’t. They need experts to help them through the buying process. After all, it’s complicated, and there’s a lot that could go wrong! You’ll need help making sure the property has no major problems, completing the sales and purchase agreement, and moving into the house, among many other things. Given the time and money you’re investing in your future home, it’s wise to ensure you’re getting the best help possible – it’ll make the whole process much more straightforward.

Checking for Problems

And talking of major problems: don’t take them lightly! It’s easy to overlook an issue if you really love the house, but it’s like buying a footballer with a major injury – you know how good things could be, but the problem is too big to ignore, and it’s best to pull out of the deal before it’s too late. It’ll only end of costing you more money and adding some extra stress – and you’ve got more than enough of both to handle at the moment already.

It Can Be Stressful

We say “it can be stressful.” but what we really mean is: it IS stressful. Studies have shown the stress induced by moving home is comparable to that of a divorce or mourning. So you better prep yourself for some higher than normal blood pressure. This can be combated, in part, by giving yourself more time than you’d think to get the move completed.

The Art of Negotiation

Who pays full sticker price anymore? When it comes to buying property, take the asking price as just that – an asking price. They’ve likely inflated it somewhat anyway because they expect people to haggle the cost down slightly. Even if you’ve found your dream house, avoid panicking – it’s better to play it cool when it comes to negotiations.

The Bigger Picture

Finally, remember that you’re not just buying the house for today – it’s for years to come! I feel like this is the MOST important aspect. Always keep in mind the biggest picture, as it’ll help you to avoid buying a house that’s only good for your present circumstances, and instead buy a house that is suitable for your plans. Consider starting a family, the cost of children and the possible drop in income due to maternity and childcare.

Charlotte x