“As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” With this quote the famous Co-founder of Apple Inc. Steve Jobs manages to sum up the place we strive to reach when buying a house. Yet there’s much more to the purchasing process than merely stumbling across the property of your dreams. Searching for a new home can be overwhelming, with multiple needs to cater for. With that in mind we’ve put together a list of five house hunting tips to help you simplify the process.
1. Know your non-negotiables
It’s normal to have points you’re not quite set on when buying a home, such as the size and shape of the garden or the layout of your living room. But you will need to tie down your non-negotiables. Decide what kind of neighbourhoods you’re interested in, which type of structure you need and which features absolutely need to be included. Before you begin viewings, create a solid plan with the help of this useful guide called Advice on home searches on our blog.
2. Compare well
One of our essential house hunting tips is not to scrimp on the note taking. When on an open house viewing, or even just conversing with estate agents about properties available in the local area, jot down as much as you can. Re-read your notes, and do make a call to your realtor if you suddenly find you’re missing key information when considering houses to buy.
3. Assess the finer details
The devil is in the detail, and buying a house is no exception. Check which direction the lounge windows are facing, enquire about basements and hidden storage spaces, and take a walk around the property’s boundaries. There are also plenty of other extra factors to pay close attention to – so much so that we rounded up some more house hunting tips in this blog.
4. Be aware of the shortcomings
When buying a house it’s easy to become swayed by overall atmosphere, but you should always bring your critical eye to every viewing. Hone in on the potential downsides of the property as well as its positive aspects. Whether you’re purchasing in a development or are buying an older property, there may be features you cannot change by law.
5. Find the potential
With older houses, you may need to look past less-attractive aspects, or indeed superficial changes imposed by current residents, to see the property’s true potential. Could certain features be reverted back to their traditional state? Or perhaps there’s room to add an extension?
Seeing potential where others don’t at an open house can lead to landing an excellent deal – even on a brand-new build. Depending on how early you show interest, you could influence decisions such as where kitchens and bathrooms are situated.
Another of our home-buying tips to bear in mind is that there may well be certain financial incentives thrown in when purchasing in a new development. Just ensure you’re aware of what to keep an eye out for.
When you know what you need, it’s time to start using these house hunting tips. At Engel & Völkers we have a range of houses to buy in 32 countries, from contemporary new builds to charming older properties. Take a look at the options we have available in your area and arrange viewings today.