Beginning the hunt for a new home

Whether you’re looking to rent a property or buy one, there are many things to consider when deciding to move home. Choosing a new home for yourself or your family is a lengthy process and it’s not a decision to take lightly. A new home is a commitment and not just a financial one, so make sure you’re aware of all the pitfalls of real estate before jumping in head-first. Whether you’re new to the property market or just aren’t really sure when it comes to renting, take a look at this guide before beginning the hunt for your new home.

It’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for before calling up an estate agent or starting to look online. Consider what it is you need versus what it is you want. For example, if you have pets or kids it may be worth looking into properties with a garden. If you’re living alone think about the extra space you might require – do you need an office or space bedroom? Make a list of what you’ll need as well as a list of extras you might like, such as an extra bathroom or utility room. Try to keep your list to a minimum, especially if you’re house-hunting on a budget. It would be nice to live in a five-bedroom detached house with a pool, but if it’s not in your price range then don’t consider it!

The next area you want to look into is location. Try to pinpoint a couple of areas in which you wouldn’t mind living. If you’re moving with your family make sure you research local schools, libraries and the ease of public transport. It seems obvious, but the location is important. You may find the perfect house for you, but if it’s too far out of the way for you to travel to work then it’s probably not the right choice.
Safety is important and it’s worth researching crime figures for areas that you might want to live in. Be aware that properties on streets with high levels of street crime may be cheaper, but at what cost to you and your family? Information about crime is readily available online, but don’t let high figures put you off your perfect home. Choosing a property in a high-crime area doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to become a victim, especially if you put in place anti-theft measures such as house alarms.

There are now many ways you can source new homes that don’t necessarily involve real estate agents. Many landlords list their properties online without an agent so as to save on estate agent fees. While this can be beneficial to your wallet, as it also saves you paying a cut to the estate agent, there are many hazards of renting this way. If you’re new to renting then make sure you’re clued up about your rights as a tenant as well as what a landlord should provide. Before signing your name to any contract it may be worth having a professional have a look at it first. Things to be wary of include home insurance, deposit refunds, and where exactly your tenancy deposit is being housed. If you really aren’t sure then finding a property through an estate agent may be the best choice for you, especially if you’re new to renting. If you’d prefer to deal with your landlord directly then make sure you’re fully aware of all of your rights so as to avoid everything from minor quibbles to court cases!

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