Your home is your castle, so it’s worth ensuring the one you choose has the potential to reach palatial standards. While there’s plenty of online guidance on the process of buying a house, let’s begin with the basics: what should you love about a property before you sign on the dotted line?
1. The location
If you’re planning on searching for houses to buy, consider your commuting distance before you settle on an area, as this will have a significant impact on your leisure time. Close proximity to conveniences is also key – being able to walk to cafes, parks or shops makes life more pleasant. If you have a young family, or if starting one is on the cards, ensure you assess the quality of the area’s schools, too.
As the saying goes, it’s best to buy the worst house on the better street. But while this cliché needn’t be taken too literally, as a rule of thumb investing in a desirable area means your property won’t stay on the market for long if you decide to sell it.
2. The position
The location of a property within its lot matters almost as much as its location. A charming house becomes much less charming if the view from the living room is of a busy main road. Ideally, your home will have a pleasant setback, a garden, south-facing windows and will be situated on higher ground than any of its neighbours.
When embarking on the process of buying a house, keep in mind that the higher your property is, the better this is for drainage.
3. The size
Aiming for a Goldilocks-sized house that’s just right needn’t be complicated. Take into account the square footage of your current property and be realistic about how much more or less space you require. Are your children flying the nest? Or are you planning to expand your family?
When deciding whether to downscale or size up, choose wisely: you don’t want to outgrow your new home too quickly. If you’re buying a house, also consider how much entertaining you plan to do. Is your lounge large enough for gatherings? Are there enough guest bedrooms and bathrooms for extended family members who visit often?
4. The potential
When viewing houses to buy, feeling the buzz of potential is a superb sign. Perhaps there’s the opportunity to knock down walls between smaller rooms to create an open-plan space? Maybe there’s a bathroom with space for a hot tub? Could you transform the cellar into a home cinema? Potential also means the property’s value has room to increase. A brand-new build or a luxury house that’s already at the apex of its market won’t see any exponential rises in price. A property with room for improvement, however, could become your nest egg.
5. The deal makers
Also known as your non-negotiables, these are the aspects of a home that matter most to you. A feature that hooks you when buying a house could be as prominent as a private tennis court or as simple as bay windows. But if your non-negotiables aren’t included in the property, assess whether they could be included.
Whether you’ve just started weighing up buying a house, or you’ve already begun viewing properties, it’s worth creating a list of the five aforementioned factors before looking for further advice. Once it’s complete, try our property search to see if any of the fantastic options at Engel & Völkers tick all the right boxes.