5 min Read
14 Apr 2014

Written by Liam

Over 30 years experience in financial services, residential lettings and property sales. Director of a leading national estate agency chain, until leaving in 2008 to pursue other commercial interests. Vast experience in new business development, business change, management development and business strategy.

More about Liam

19 key things to do when searching for your next home

checklist

Key things to do when searching for your next home

When starting to look for a new home it can be a daunting task trying to decide which is the right property for you and your family.

Here are some top tips that will make your house hunting go a bit smoother

Start with the property portals

  • Property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla have made finding the right property a whole lot easier
  • Use the filter facility to focus on the right house type and area narrowing down your search
  • You can normally save searches so that you can for instance have different searches for different areas making the whole process more organised
  • If you have been regularly checking the portals then set the filter to 'last 7 days' which will then deliver results showing only houses recently on the market or recently reduced
  • Make use of the property price data held on most property portals as this will give you an idea of the recent sale prices and estimated current property values in the area where you are looking

 Engage with estate agents and start viewing properties

  • Don't be one of those that loves searching the property portals and estate agency websites but never views any properties, get out viewing and see what you are actually going to get for your money
  • Start talking to estate agents about properties and the area in which you are interested, estate agents will have an extensive knowledge of both the area and properties to help in your search
  • When viewing properties make sure you also check out the area fully and do this at various times of the day and at weekends to get a good feel for whether you would want to live there
  • Read this article for more tips when out viewing - 41 things to check and ask when viewing a property

Keep notes on all properties viewed

  • When viewing a number of properties it can be a bit confusing, so keep notes about what you liked and did not like about each property together with the marketing price
  • Also make notes about any work that may need doing so that you can compare prices of different properties in different states of repair
  • Arrange further viewings, if there are things that you feel you missed first time around, so that you have all the information required to make a sound judgement on each property
  • Make sure you are fully briefed about how long the property has been on the market and the seller's position i.e. have they found a property, this could help you when negotiating a purchase price

Get your finances in order

  • It's important when you are seriously looking to buy a property that you start to sort out your finances early on
  • Talk to an independent mortgage adviser about how much you could borrow and the costs involved so you that you can make an offer on a property with the confidence that you can raise the necessary finance
  • When you finally find the right property make sure you research available mortgages fully together with their associated costs before deciding on the right mortgage for you
  • Read this important article about changes in the mortgage market  - New rules for 2014 mean that a third of borrowers won't be accepted come April

Making an offer

  • Once you have decided on which property or properties you are interested it's time to make an offer
  • If you have kept notes on each property you will be able to justify any offer by making reference to the work required or the sale price of similar properties in the area
  • When making an offer emphasise you current position, i.e. property sold, mortgage arranged in principle, to support your offer

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