Buying a home is one of the most important transactions you'll ever make, but how do you decide if a property is right for you? Should there be a long process of deliberation, returning to view each potential property several times, or will you instinctively know at once when you walk into your perfect home? Here's our take on the buying process.
Things to think about
There's a lot to consider when buying a house, and this goes beyond how much you like the property in person. A recent survey found that UK homeowners conducted a significant amount of research before even viewing a potential property for the first time. This ranged from reading the full property description to looking up the road on Google Street View. A significant proportion of buyers also researched employment opportunities, infrastructure, schools and convenient amenities in the area.
53% of survey respondents returned for a second viewing before making the decision to buy the property. Even if you're smitten at first sight, there are obvious benefits to this, including getting the chance to see the house at a different time of day, as well as allowing yourself enough time to consider all the relevant issues before making a decision. 41% of respondents viewed the property three times or more, while just 6% made up their minds after one viewing only. People are perhaps more likely to act quickly when markets are very active, for fear of losing their dream house to another buyer.
Is the property fit for purpose?
When deciding whether or not to buy a house, it's worth carefully considering whether it's right for its intended usage. If you're looking to buy a home as your permanent residence, for example, then you're likely to focus on different criteria than if you were searching for a holiday home. School catchment areas, commute distance and the local cost of living may be priorities if you're planning to live in a property, whereas a beautiful view and a good choice of restaurants nearby might be more important in a potential holiday home.
Trust your intuition
All these factors must be considered, but buying a house is not just a question of logical pros and cons. Any homeowner wants to love the property they eventually purchase, and so intuition and 'gut feelings' have a part to play, too. A survey carried out by BMO Bank of Montreal found that two thirds of respondents said having a "good feeling" about a property provided them with a persuasive reason to make an offer, so it's worth paying close attention to your immediate response to a home.
Ultimately, everyone is likely to have a slightly different approach to buying a house, from compiling detailed lists of desirable criteria to relying on a sense of knowing when the right home comes along. Whether you want to take your time before making a decision, or plan to go with your instincts, Engel & Völkers' friendly agents will be at your side to guide you through every part of the purchase.