Advice on home searches: how to plan before you purchase

“The home should be the treasure chest of living.” These words, once said by the famous Swiss-French architect and designer, Le Corbusier, capture both the struggle and the rewarding outcome of purchasing a home.


However, before the quest of looking for a home even begins, many of us get caught up in concocting our dream abodes – with views across the rolling ocean, marble flooring or rustic kitchen designs – without any pragmatic advice on home searching available to guide us.




Thinking creatively when starting your home search should be encouraged, but it’s also useful to get an idea of what plans and decisions you need to make before you begin looking for a home. Here is a short guide to buying a home to help get your property ideas in order.


1. Where is your ideal location?

Before handing over your details and purchasing a home, make sure you glance around at the area and consider the location. Choosing a property miles from your workplace and nowhere near the top schools is both impractical and a potentially poor investment. Here are a few useful questions to ask before starting your home search:

  • Are there any schools nearby?
  • Where are the closest amenities?
  • How far is the house from family and friends?
  • How long would it take to get to work everyday?


As a further piece of advice on home searching, remember that a prime location and the proximity of schools, amenities and transport links are likely to affect the future value of the property if you choose to sell.


2. What type of house are you looking for?

Before you start your home search, have an idea of the type of house you want. When looking for a new home, start by simply picking between the two common forms of property below to immediately hone your options:

Single-family detached home – this is a very private option, as it means that you won’t share walls, ceilings of floors with any neighbours. Single-family detached properties are usually more expensive, but you are paying for the luxury of space and property autonomy.

Condominiums – in apartments and flats, you’ll usually share common areas with others. However, condos come with the advantage of reduced maintenance and lower prices. The investment of purchasing a home in a condo is also generally lower.


3. What are your non-negotiables?

Everyone has a different vision of what they want in buying a home. This might include a large dining area, a substantial entrance hall or ensuite bathrooms.

Before you start your home search, make a list of your ideal requirements and pick those that you couldn’t do without. These might be dictated by family needs or possessions, such as a driveway or garage in which to park your car. Creating this list in advance of your house hunting experience will make the process quicker and more focused.


Ready to start looking for a home? With offices in 32 countries on 4 continents across the globe, Engel & Völkers are here to offer you expert real estate advice. Browse the Engel & Völkers website for more advice on home searches and for purchasing a home. Our experienced and friendly team is on-hand to offer expert advice on your home search.

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