Finding Your Dream Home: What To Look For (And What To Avoid)

Buying a house is a difficult decision to make. It takes a lot of money. But your emotions are wrapped up in the purchase too. Which can lead to some difficulties. Especially when we stumble across what we think is our dream home. We have a tendency to look past evidence that might point to underlying problems. And that can lead to more than just a headache down the line.

When looking around your prospective new home, you’ll need to get the microscope out. No matter how much you love it. There are lots of major issues to look out for. But some fly under the radar too.

Here you’ll find 6 good things to look out for when purchasing a property. And 6 things that you’ll want to steer clear of.

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The Good
Inspecting property isn’t all about looking out for the bad. It’s also about looking out for positives that should make you look on a property more favorably.

  • Room Size
Good room size is always something you’ll want to look out for. Measure your furniture before you go and take the tape measure with you to the viewings. That way, you’ll know if your life fits in before you commit to buying.
  • Neighborhood
Location is everything when buying a home. Everyone talks about watching out for ‘bad’ neighborhoods, but you want to look out for good too. If it has excellent transport links and good schools, it should go up in your estimation.
  • Potential
Making sure you fit in a home at the moment is important. So is seeing if that property has the potential to extend along with your life. It’s much easier to extend a current home than get back out onto the property market.
  • Garden
Having green space is hard to find. Anywhere with room to roam outside is definitely a winner. Not only does it tack onto having the potential to extend, but it’s also good for the mind and soul just to have outdoor space to call your own.
  • Security
Assess how secure the property you’re viewing is. If there’s a security system already installed, then you’re onto the winner. Intruder alarms, security lights, and fire alarms should all be top of the list.
  • Efficiency
Looking after the planet is on the top of everyone’s list. So a house that runs efficiently is a positive in anyone’s book.

The Bad
There are always things that we need to keep an eye out for when viewing a property. And that’s because they could signal underlying problems that you won’t want to deal with in a year.
  • Fixer-Uppers
Everyone loves a good project. But committing to something that will last years might not be exactly what you signed up for. It’s easy to underestimate the costs of renovating. If you’re going for a fixer-upper, make sure to ask enough questions, so you know you’re able to commit. If not, steer clear.
  • Flood Plains
If your potential home is on a flood plain, make sure you know what you’re getting into. It can lead to you having a flooded home if there’s nothing already in place to avoid such an event. Talk to your realtor so you can assess the risk. If you’re unsure of anything, then don’t buy.
  • Damp
Damp is a big red flag. Thankfully, there are lots of ways to recognize if a home has damp. Look for mildew, peeling wallpaper, blistering paint, discoloration, and mould. Some owners are happy to take it on if they understand the risks. But don’t feel forced into handling it if you’re not prepared.
  • Condensation
Condensation on windows can be an indicator of poor insulation. And poor insulation can be costly to fix. Take a minute to check the double glazing and condition of the windows. This will help you figure out what sort of price insulating the home will be.
  • Structural
Structural problems will cost you a fortune. Look out for big cracks and weak joints. But if you’re unsure, hire a surveyor before you commit to a purchase. You may not like the sound of an outlay cost for a surveyor, but it costs less than a complete structural refit.
  • Questions
The biggest thing to avoid when purchasing property is not asking enough questions. Go in with a list of everything you want to know. And even some things you think are pointless. No question is too much.

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The Wrap Up
Finding your dream home doesn’t have to be a headache. If you go well prepared and understand what to look out for, you’re halfway there. Searching for a home that fits is the biggest part of the job. So once you have that down, you’re on the home straight.
Making purchasing property a breeze is all about preparation. So don’t stop being prepared once you’ve found the house. Continue the trend by getting a mortgage quote ahead of time, getting friendly with a financial advisor, and getting your credit in check. Everything helps on the road to owning property.
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