Families are so often in a quandry when it comes to the question of to rent or to buy. On the one hand, renting is fairly simple and straight forward. You provide references, pay a holding deposit and damage waiver and then move in – no worries about having to mintain the property. All the repairs and niggling worries are down to the agent or the landlord. On the other hand, buying a property means that at the end of a set period of payments, sometimes less than rental, the property is yours to keep.
This way, by combining your loves and hates, families will have a much clearer idea of the things they really want to avoid, and the things they want to find in their next home. House buying, without the stress!
Buying a property is one of the biggest purchases we make in our lives, so it is important to ensure we set a realistic budget to buy with. We all have dream homes, with lots of bedrooms, a huge garden and large, modern kitchen, but unfortunately these all come at a price. Here are our tips for creating a budget to suit you.
We recommend using an online budget calculator to do the hard maths for you. Generally, you just tell it how much you earn (combined with a partner if that is what you want), roughly what you spend each month on your regular outgoings (such as electricity, council tax, groceries etc) and the calculator will tell you roughly what you could expect to be able to afford.
There is definitely something special about the early summer. The late winter has gone, spring has filled that gap with early warmth. The time to brush out the cobwebs well and truly here. When property is being prepared for the rental market, it is essential to get a good routine in place. Get the property throughly emptied if it’s to be an unfurnished contract. Take every thing away to the tidy tip or donate good useable items to charity.
Make sure the property is in good, safe state of repair. Rental agents of course know all the rules and regulations, and a good job too, as these do change. Make sure also that the place is in clean tidy state of decor, all repairs seen to. Get on good terms with your letting agency – makes life so much smoother.
Going to view a potential new home should be a really fun and exciting opporunity to imagine yourself in a new house. Yet it is often difficult to visualise what it would be like to live in this house. Here are our ideas for making this an easier task.
- Take someone not involved in the house with you: by takinga neutral friend or family member, you will get an unbiased, unskewed viewpoint about the pros and cons of the property.
- When we have our heart on something, we often overlook any negatives as a way to make ourselves more convinced to go for it…you don’t want to miss any dodgy building work for instance!
When buying a property with a partner, or perhaps your family, it is highly likely that you’ll each have different ideas of what the ‘perfect home’ is made up of. You might dream of a country cottage with old beams and a cute little garden; your other half might be dreaming of a swish apartment in a high-rise block in the city! Without having some frank discussions and some lists of wants/needs, it is easy to get wrapped up in arguments and disputes about what you want.
Our advice is to all create a list of at least 5 things you really want (ideal world things). Next, write a similar list of things you need (practical items like utility rooms or ensuite bathrooms). Next, write a list of things you would absolutely HATE. Compare the lists and see if you have any similar or same items. These are the things to focus on!
So you are searching high and low for the perfect property. We bet you’ve scoured estate agent windows and possibly a few websites to find it? Well, stop right there, there are other places to look! Here are our ideas to help broaden your horisons.
- Go directly to the place you want to live. It might involve taking a short holiday (bonus!) but visiting the place you want to move to is always a good idea. That way, you can really look in all the places you want to be and find out quicker if there are any homes on the market. By talking to local people, you’ll be surprised what you can find out before the masses!
- Social media – put the word out that you are looking for a new place, give a few things you want (eg number of bedrooms) and again, be surprised at how many people know someone who is also planning to move…voila, perfect sales scenario.
- Online is a great place to get ideas, but don’t completely discount going to an actual estate agent too – they often know of properties which are soon to go on the market but aren’t there yet – you could get some quick advice and preview of new homes on the list!