What not to compromise on when buying a home

What not to compromise on when buying a homeNobody likes the word ‘compromise’, but it’s something we all find ourselves doing on a daily basis, at work and at home. Buying a house is no different, so it’s important to approach your search with a degree of flexibility. However, this doesn’t mean that you should be prepared to settle for a home you won’t be happy in – so when it comes to your property hunt, what are the three things that you should never compromise on?

Your budget

The budget you’ve set aside for your property might start off as completely fixed, but it’s amazing how quickly those figures can escalate when you see a beautiful home just outside your price range. It’s therefore essential that you’re absolutely clear on how much you have to spend and that you don’t deviate from a pre-decided upper price point. However, this should not be the maximum the bank is willing to lend you. Not only is there the inconvenient fact that the more you borrow, the more the bank stands to earn, but you also need to remember that there are multiple costs associated with owning a property, particularly in the first few months when you’re decorating and setting up utilities. To prevent disappointment, resolve not to view any properties with an asking price above the maximum you consider affordable.

Location, location, location

Another factor you really shouldn’t compromise on is the property’s location. However wonderful the home is, it’s still possible for external factors to cancel out those period features or the massive garden – like noisy neighbours, endless traffic or a mile-long trek to the nearest supermarket. If you know you’re miserable without a good night’s sleep, don’t let yourself get talked into a property just off a main road or anywhere near an airport. Similarly, a lengthy commute won’t get any shorter with time, so if there’s an issue with the property that would adversely affect your quality of life, it’s time to walk away and keep looking.

Listing the features

Beyond the key considerations of price and location, it’s up to you to conclude what is most important in a prospective new home. That’s why a wishlist is so important: it stops you from getting too emotional and keeps your decision rational and objective. Of course, it is also important that you feel a connection with the home and can picture yourself living there, but if you then have to spend the next ten years listening to your children complain about sharing a room, you might wish that you’d thought with your head rather than your heart. Write down the essentials, the desirables and the to-be-avoided-at-all-costs, bring them with you to every viewing and mark each property accordingly. Take into account that some things are easier to fix than others: wall coverings are easily replaced, but adding a bathroom will require major structural work.

As the experts in international property, Engel & Völkers are here to help you think through every aspect of buying a new home. We’ll work with you to determine which features are the most important to you, before putting all our energy into matching you up with a house that ticks all your boxes. Just visit the E&V website to start your search today.


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