"There is something permanent, and something extremely profound, in owning a home", said American politician and businessman Kenny Guin.
Purchasing a property is one of the most important transactions you'll make in your lifetime, but the excitement of the situation can lead first-time buyers astray. Our tips will help you avoid some of the most common mistakes.
The decision to buy a home is both rational and emotional, and it's important not to get swept away when purchasing your first property. A beach villa with floor-to-ceiling windows and an infinity pool may tug at your heartstrings, but if it involves a lengthy commute to work or is miles from the nearest grocery store, it might make a better holiday home. Be practical about what you need from your main residence in terms of location, size and amenities. Decide in advance which aspects are non-negotiable, and which you'd be prepared to compromise on.
2. Research the neighbourhood
You may have found a property that meets ticks all the boxes, but don't forget to think about the surrounding area. Research the local neighbourhood to make sure it will suit your individual needs. Young professionals might prioritise a decent selection of restaurants and bars, while those with children will want to know more about nearby schools and the availability of recreational facilities such as parks. Visit the area during the day and in the evening, noting any traffic or noise pollution that could affect quality of living.
3. Decide what size suits you
Unless you're content to move house frequently, you'll want to consider whether the house will be large enough for years to come. If there's a chance you'll be welcoming new arrivals to the family, you may need a number of spare bedrooms in reserve. Even if you're not planning to have children, first-time buyers often underestimate the amount of space they need. Sellers declutter their homes for viewings, which can make them seem more spacious than they truly are. Can it comfortably accommodate your possessions as well as your family? Is there enough room for entertaining guests?
4. Avoid placing too much emphasis on décor
Professionally styled homes are very appealing, but try not to be influenced by items belonging to the current owners, such as hand-carved furniture, framed watercolours or antique books. Visualise what the home will look like once it's stripped bare and you're free to style it as you wish. Focus on fixed features, such as windows, room layout and size.
Whether you're a first-time buyer or an experienced property owner, enlisting an estate agent will make finding your dream home far simpler. Contact Engel & Völkers today to browse our global portfolio of luxury homes.