Searching for a new home can be a tricky process, whether you are looking to make your first step onto the property ladder or are trying to find the new family home. If you are struggling, here are our tips to finding the perfect balance between finance, availability and of course suitability for your needs.

Figuring out your finances

Money obviously plays an important role in purchasing a property and the general rule of thumb for a traditional mortgage is that you can borrow three times your gross annual income. Over the last few years the government has launched schemes designed to help first time buyers get onto the property market, these schemes have proved invaluable to those struggling to save up the large deposits required my most lenders. It is important to ensure that you do not borrow more than you can feasibly pay back, generally your repayments should not be more than 35% of your net monthly income.

Once you have worked out what you can afford, it is time to look at the properties available to you. If you are looking for an older property that will need some TLC, remember that you will need to put aside money for improvements. Be prepared to be flexible with your choices, unless you are choosing a new build property, chances are you will need to compromise on some of your preferences. Ensure that you cast a wide net when searching for your new home, utilise local estate agencies, online property sites and local newspapers to ensure that you do not miss out on any properties. Location is key, however nice the property is you cannot change the area that it is in therefore it is best to consider the following factors when you have found a potential abode.

  • Is it accessible for work? Are friends and family nearby?
  • Are there suitable facilities nearby such as shops, schools, restaurants and parks?
  • Can you easily park in front of your home?
  • What are the schools in the area like?
  • What are the area’s crime statistics?

It is best to have a healthy cautious attitude when it comes to scoping out your location, ask the seller why they are choosing the leave and visit the property both during the day and at night to make sure it does not change from a suburban dream to a crime filled nightmare. Buying a home or getting one at an auction is a huge financial decision so it is important that you are 100% happy with your decision.