Buying your first home is such a massive step! You deserve all the congratulations in the world! When you first purchase a house, you feel an enormous sense of pride, you have put in all the hard work, you have saved every little penny you could group together. Your family deserves the very best you can get for your hard earned money! When you go shopping for your new family house, there are a few things that you need to make sure you are looking out for, so that you don’t have any problems further on down the line! If you follow this list, you’re sure to get a perfect house that you’ll live in for many happy years!
1) Before anything else, the very first thing that you should do is make sure that you’re entirely satisfied with the deposit that you have gotten together. The aim should not be to borrow as much as the bank will give you, it should be to give everything you can and then borrow the rest! It, of course, goes without saying that the less debt you are in, the better! Also, the quicker the house will be all yours! Have a look online at a deposit calculator which will tell you exactly how much to save and what you will owe after your savings are all together. You’ll be happier in the long run, although it may seem painful now when you owe less and are finished paying your mortgage quickly! Along the same lines, only do what you can afford! Don’t bankrupt yourself for the house that is definitely not worth it.
2) When you’ve spotted a house which has caught your eye, make sure you have a look around to see how long it has been on the market. People play a lot of tricks here, so there are a few things you need to look out for! Check lots of different estate agents as people tend to switch to make it look like their house has been up for less time. Also, people often put their house up for sale, and if it doesn’t sell within a few weeks, they will take it off the market and put it back on a few weeks down the line. Another clever way to make it look like it has been on the market for less time than it really has. People have a lot of opinions about this. Not how long it’s been on the market is the most important thing, it just is a bit of an indicator as to whether or not there might be something a bit off with the house. Sometimes it can be a good thing though as they might knock a bit off the price!
3) Make sure that you are meeting the neighbours in the area that you plan on buying in! It is honestly one of the best things you can do in the house buying process. The other people that live there are one of the biggest indicators as to how nice the place is. And the location is key! If you think about it, these are the people that you will see every single day of your life! Of course, not all people choose to converse with their neighbours, but if you do have a family, it would be best to know, somewhat, the people that your children will be running into! You would want to know that they would help out your kids if the situation ever came about.
4) When you are moving to a whole new area, there are whole new rules and different things to consider. One of the most important ones is the local council. If you get the chance when looking at your new house, pop into the local council, they will have leaflets of different things that they do for the community. If it is important to you to have a Christmas market, have a look if that is something that goes on in the area, and look at the pictures that they will have up of previous event. It’s always nice to know what kind of community you will be joining. Another thing to do with the council is the council tax. Before you move, before you even consider looking at the area, check what the council tax is for the house. It can get very very expensive and might put some houses out of the question.
5) When viewing the house, you want to make sure that you are looking in every single room for any potential problems, it is just too much of a commitment to not be obsessed with every little aspect. One of the main things to look for in every single room is mould or fungi as these can really inhibit breathing and can in turn damage the liver of yourself and your family! Not an ideal feature of the new house! If you are unsure as to what to look for, get some air quality testing done, so you can know for a fact that it’s clear. This is also something you should do even if you’re not moving! Living with mould is so harmful, especially if you have children who are more likely to suffer if there is mould about.
6) If you have or are planning to have, any small children, one of the things that should be at the forefront of your mind when buying a new house, should be how easy it is to baby proof. You may think that you can baby proof just about anywhere. However, there are some places where it is next to impossible. Houses in a really modern style have been proven much harder to baby proof and more dangerous for the baby. Of course, it is only for a concise amount of time (while they can crawl and not walk) that the child will need to be somewhere that is baby proofed, so it isn’t the end of the world if it is slightly harder, you’ll just have to keep a keener eye!
7) Also to do with children, should you have any, make sure to check the schools which are in the catchment area of the new house you wish to get. It is really hard to get children into schools which aren’t in their catchment area. So if you have a particular school in mind that you want your child to attend, you’d better look in the catchment area for where that school is. Another thing to do, while you’re visiting the house, go down to the schools and see what they are like. Since schooling is a problem, it would be ideal for you to know the kind of place they would be getting into. You might even meet some of their future friends or teachers!
8) When viewing the house, have a look at the boiler. This may seem like a foolish thing to say indeed. However the boiler is, as you know, so critical in the house! Especially a family house where everyone needs to use the bathroom and eat at all different times. If you think you can check the boiler yourself, without getting any professional help, go ahead and do that, save yourself a bit of money! Also, you should ask the realtor if they know how old the boiler is, when it was last replaced and how often it has been serviced. The boiler is not something you want to break on you!
9) If you are moving into a brand new family home, you will have to consider the pets that you may have or will want in the future. If you have a cat or a dog, they find it hard to move house. You’ll definitely want to make sure that the house is safe for pets as well as the area. You’ll want to have a look into all the facilities that are available in the area such as vet; you’ll want to know if they are allowed in the local park or what times they are allowed there. Make sure it all fits in with your daily schedule. It would also be good to know if there is a local pets shop, so you won’t have to travel ages to get some pet food!
10) Read everything in the contract. This absolutely goes without saying, and is not intended to be patronising! However, it is best to make sure you know everything about the deal you are about to get yourself into! Make notes at any meetings you have, make notes of the contract itself, so you are acutely aware of everything both parties have to do!
Most of all, however, enjoy your move! It’s such a massive step for you, and you don’t want to miss too much of i worrying about the details! Falling in love with a town or a house or a city is one of the life's many joys, so make the most of it and take loads of pictures for the memories!