Saying you should be sure you can afford your new home may seem like stating the obvious, but it’s easy to fall down on this point. You may find a way to borrow more than most lenders are willing to offer, but remember the restrictions are there to ensure you can afford the repayments.
Most lenders and independent advisors include a mortgage checker on their website, so use it to ensure you don’t take on more than you can afford.
One thing you’ll need to decide is whether you want your home ready to move into or to do it up first. You should be able to find a cheaper property if you want to work on it, but the renovation costs will need to be factored into the overall price.
The location of the house is one of the most important aspects. Things to consider include:
- How easy will it be to get to work?
- Are there good schools nearby, and can you get your children into them?
- How easy will it be to park?
- Are there shops nearby?
- Is there a local park where the children can play?
Try to get a general feel for the area. Visit it several times, at different times of day, to see whether it has the right atmosphere. Find out about any local development plans, and whether they’ll be good or bad for the neighbourhood, and check for crime levels, either from the police or by reading the local papers.
The survey should make sure the house has no serious faults, but you’ll need to consider not only whether the house meets your needs now, but whether it gives your family room to grow into. Young children may be happy to share a room, for instance, but later they’ll want their own. What kind of garden do you want, and does the space offer the right possibilities? And, if you have pets, is the house suitable for them?
Moving into a home is a family project, and it’s as well if every member of the family has some say about it, even if it’s you and your partner who make the final decision. That decision could mean the difference between happiness and stress, so it’s worth taking the trouble to make the right one.