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When you buy a home, you are buying much more than four walls and a roof over your head.  You are buying a lifestyle for you or your family. 

Given the significance of this decision, it is often an emotionally charged process with hundreds of questions, both big and small.

Having helped many people through this process, we can add our insights.  Before you even start looking around at properties to buy, it is a good idea to find out how much you can afford to borrow and, even better, get pre-approval for a loan.

When arranging a loan / mortgage, Financial Consultants will typically ask:

  • Employment history or continuous income
  • Can you afford a deposit - 10% to 20% is ideal  
  • Your monthly expenses
  • Your credit history
  • Any debts you may have
  • Your assets
  • Any other loans you may have

Location is a home buyer's most important consideration. You can always renovate or improve a home, but you cannot change its location. The location also directly influences the capital growth of the property. If you buy in an area primed for growth it can help build your personal wealth faster.

Here is a look at some keyways you can assess a neighbourhood:

Proximity to amenities such as schools and parks

  • How long will it take to get to work?
  • Does the location have a low crime rate?
  • Are the homes in the area well maintained?
  • Does it have convenient proximity to services?
  • Are there any planned upgrades?
  • Does it have historic charm?
  • How might development plans affect lifestyle and property price?
  • What is the aspect, views and outlook like?
  • Keeping an open mind as to where you want to live can help you find your property sooner. 

Here are a few questions to get you started:

  • Why are they selling the property?
  • Have the owners done any renovations recently?
  • How much are the council rates?
  • Are there any restrictions on the property?
  • Are they aware of any planned local authority changes?
  • How long has the property been on the market?

Because there are so many questions, we prepare detailed information on all our properties so that we can answer buyer’s queries: - How old is the boiler for example?

Mortgage lenders require a survey, and it is in your interests to organise your own survey to identify issues not visible to the naked eye.  Whilst no property is perfect, knowing if there are any serious issues with the property can help you make smarter buying decisions.

The Property Ombudsman TSI Rightmove Zoopla Primelocation