Luxury living in the CBD (Credit via domain.com)
If somebody asked you to describe your dream home, what kind of picture would you try and create? When you’re searching for the perfect property, there’s a lot to think about, and you may feel under pressure to make the right decision.
If you’ve ever watched programmes with experts helping buyers find a new home, you’re probably familiar with the notion that location is everything, so where do you envision your dream home? Are you a town mouse or a country mouse? If you need inspiration or you’re struggling to narrow down your options, here are some tips to help you find the right home for you.
How important is location to you?
You hear people say that there’s nothing more important than location, but every property search is different. Some people have a single street in mind, and they’re unwilling to shift from that specific location, but this attitude is not shared by every house-hunter. There are many out there who have a much more flexible approach to location, and this can make it easier to find the perfect property.
If your search area is very small, there may only be a few houses up for sale, and not all them will fit your criteria. If you cast your net a little wider, you may find that you have a lot more choice. Location also plays an instrumental role when it comes to price and if you’re struggling to find something affordable, being a bit more open-minded could enable you to reap rewards. Sometimes, even pushing the boundaries by a mile or two can make a huge difference to the range of properties available within your budget.
What kind of location are you looking for?
We’re all different, and that’s what makes the world such an exciting and diverse place. One person’s idea of a dream location may be completely the opposite of another’s, so think about what you want rather than following the crowd.
Just because an area is described as desirable or sought-after in a brochure, doesn’t mean that you have to set your heart on buying a house there. You may prefer something more urban or rural. Think about what you’re looking for from your home. Do you want to be at the heart of the action? Do you want to look out of the window and see coffee shops, boutiques and people scurrying down the streets? Or would you rather open the curtains and unveil rolling hills, crashing waves or quaint suburban tree-lined streets? Consider what makes you happy and what kind of location would suit your lifestyle.
Head versus heart
When you’re looking for a new home, it’s important to use your head and your heart. You want to track down that property that makes your tummy flip, but you also need to find somewhere that fits in with your lifestyle and the demands of your daily schedule. You may love the idea of being marooned miles away from the nearest store or bar, but in reality, would you be able to cope in a hamlet where there are no regular bus services, and the wifi reception isn’t great? Weigh up the pros and cons of each option and see if you can find a compromise that works. Perhaps city life isn’t for you, but suburbia would deliver the best of both worlds. You’re still connected and within easy reach of the hustle and bustle, but you can also enjoy a night’s sleep without the sound of sirens and cars beeping their horns.
Finding the right property
Once you’ve made a decision about location, you can start turning your attention to the type of property you want to find. You may be completely flexible when it comes to style, but you might have set ideas on size and scale. In contrast, you may be desperate for a character property or a brand new home you can move straight into. Some people are more concerned about the plot and the land than the actual house. Whatever your priorities, it’s beneficial to be open-minded when you start your search. You may think that you’ve got your heart set on a modern family home with a large garden, but something different may catch your eye and you never really know until you have a look around and see what’s out there.
The first thing to do when you’re starting your search in earnest is contact some local agents and start browsing online. Have a look through some online brochures and galleries and make some appointments. If you’ve got a specific type of property in mind, look for specialist agencies. If you’re looking for a sprawling country estate with a lake, for example, ask for details from Ranch Marketing Associates. Narrow your search according to the location, but be flexible with other criteria. If you’d prefer 3 bedrooms, but you could survive with two, don’t narrow your search to properties that have at least 3 bedrooms. You may find that a 2-bedroom home may have scope for expansion or the possibility to turn a study or an extra bathroom into a bedroom.
Once you’ve made a shortlist, book some viewings. Take your time to have a look around, take some photographs and jot down some notes. There are some properties that may tick all the boxes, but there may be others that you write-off before you’ve even set foot through the door. If you do fall head over heels, don’t rush into anything. Arrange another viewing, and this time, pay closer attention. Have a look at every nook and cranny and think about how the property would suit you and your family. Don’t be afraid to ask the agent to arrange as many viewings as you need to make a decision.
If you’re hoping to move, you may be thinking about where you want to live. Do you prefer the town or the country? Are you a city slicker or you are keen to get away from it all? Think carefully about what makes you happy and use this to find your dream home. Don’t rush, have a look around and try and be open-minded. You may be surprised where you end up.