Wed 10 May 2023

Starting your property search: how to find your dream home

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One of the first questions that estate agents in Loughton and other surrounding areas receive is “How can I find my dream home?” There are indeed no set rules here, but there are certainly a few top tips that might just help you on your property-buying journey and could even help you bag the type of property that you’ve been longing for.

Talk to the best estate agents

One of the first things you could consider is whether you intend to embark on the property search alone, or with the help of an estate agent. A good estate agent will be able to walk you through the process of purchasing a property and may already have homes on file that meet your requirements. Keeping a good level of communication with your local estate agents could mean that you catch wind of an amazing listing before it hits the likes of Rightmove or Zoopla.

An estate agent will be able to keep a list of your ‘must-have’ dream home criteria on file and can look for this when new properties come to the market. They are experts at matching the right property with the best buyer and as such, could help to widen your net and find a property that you’ve not yet considered.

Figure out your maximum budget

You should resist the urge to get carried away when budgeting for your dream property. It can be tempting to stretch yourself beyond your means, but you must consider all the additional costs that come along with any house move. You’ll need to be able to afford a good solicitor, moving costs, and any renovations that your new property may require. Talk to a financial expert if you have any concerns about how much you can afford to pay for your dream home.

Decide on your dream location

Next, you should think long and hard about where you want your dream home to be located. Do you want to stay in the same area you are now, or to move further afield? If you are moving to a new location, you should consider taking a few day trips or a short vacation there to get a feel for day-to-day life.

Start viewing properties

When you begin to view properties, don’t let your heart rule your head. Your emotions will be running high, and it is easy to get excited during such pivotal life events. Think logically about each property that you view and ensure that you come back to inspect it on multiple occasions. You should also aim to view it at different times of the day or evening. This will help to shine a light on any potential problems that you may have missed the first time around.

Don’t let your dream home become a nightmare

Your dream home could easily turn into a nightmare if you don’t ask the right questions. Some things to consider include: -

Damp Proofing and subsidence - issues with dampness should usually be picked up on your survey, but you should always check these for yourself. Look for areas where wallpaper and paint are peeling. Check roofs and look for condensation around windows, this is often a sign of poor airflow in the property.

What is included in the sale - insist that you have a list of all appliances and additional extras (such as log burners or furniture) put in writing before you move. This will help to ensure that there are no mix-ups at the last minute.

Rewiring and boiler checks - when was the property last rewired and is the boiler in good condition? These are both costly fixes for you in the long run.

Surrounding land - what will be built on surrounding land, and could this affect your property?

Do your research and check out the local neighbourhood

Don’t sign on the dotted line until you have looked around the surrounding area and knocked on a few doors. Speaking to your soon-to-be neighbours could offer valuable insight into the property and the location itself.

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