Property search tips for choosing your new home

Need property search tips when your choosing a new home? Get practical advice on buying an apartment, budgeting, viewing properties & more.

Buying an apartment or house is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make.

On top of the practical difficulties that come with mortgages and house-hunting, the pressure to choose a property that suits your needs, fits your budget, and in which you and your family will feel at home can be overwhelming.

With that in mind we’ve compiled some tips and things to consider when you’re searching for a property.

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  1. Take someone with you when you go to view the house. A friend, partner, or even an estate agent can be someone to bounce ideas off and can offer some good advice on your potential new home.
  2. View the property more than once, and at different times of the day. While the house may seem peaceful in the middle of the day it might be a different story at rush hour, or could be close to a pub or nightclub where things get rowdy at night.
  3. Ask how long the house has been for sale. If it’s been on the market for a long time try and find out why. Is it overpriced or is there something else you’re not aware of that’s putting other buyers off?
  4. Make a list of all the things that are important to you for your new home, as well as any questions you might want to ask. Once you start a viewing it can be easy for things to slip your mind. Having your thoughts organised in black and white will help keep you on track.
  5. Be willing to compromise. Split your list into deal-breakers and nice-to-haves. If a big garden and quiet area are your priorities you may need to give up on a short commute. Finding out what these priorities are before you start looking will make things easier in the long run.
  6. Keep an eye out for damp. Damp and mould can be one of the biggest headaches homeowners face. Look out for condensation on windows, peeling paint, or a musty smell which can be signs of poor ventilation and damp.
  7. Be thorough. This is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life so it’s okay to be a little nosey. With the home-owners permission, take photos and look into every nook and cranny. This is could be your new home, so no one will blame you for being particular.
  8. Have a surveyor take a look at the property. An expert’s eye will spot any structural problems that you might miss and can advise on how easy it will be to renovate or add an extension to the house should you wish to expand in the future.
  9. Trust your gut. If there’s nothing technically wrong with the property but something doesn’t feel right, go with your instinct. All going well you will be living in your new home for years to come and you don’t want to have to live with a niggling feeling of dissatisfaction for all that time spent on your property search. If it’s not right, it’s not right.