Once you understand your affordability, the exciting part of owning a home can begin 😊 Finding your dream home should be a fun journey - and knowing what you are looking for will make it much easier!
Break your home-buying criteria into 2 stages:
- finding the right area
- finding the right property
What to look for in an area?
Choosing the right area to live in is vital. Everyone is different - so start by focusing on your own needs. Find and write down what is most important to you from the following list.
Do you need to be close to a station so you can commute to work easily? Are there sufficient bus, rail and underground routes? If one suffers strike action will you be able to still commute fairly easily? How much would a travelcard cost?
For parents, living close by to schools is on top of their needs list. Does the area have a number of good schools nearby (think about both primary and secondary schools)? What are the catchment criteria?
Is the area safe? Up to date figures on crime statistics are readily available online for each ward in the UK and can help you understand the area. Statistics are also available on road accidents which help you determine the safety of an area further, especially if you have children.
Shops and services
Many of us are leading busier lives than ever before and paying attention to the closest shops and services can be a great time saver. The convenience of shops and services close by shouldn't be overlooked, especially if you need to be close to a GP or Pharmacy.
Depending on what kind of social life you have, we recommend checking out the local 'What’s on?' guides to see if the area you're choosing to live in matches your expectations. If you’re looking for a quieter abode, consider the number of parks and open spaces close by. You might also want to consider your proximity to friends, family and other connections - if you already know someone in the area, ask them for information and advice on what the area is really like!
Take the time to stroll through the area at different times of day to see if this is the right place for you. We often make the mistake of making generalisations on an area’s name and reputation, even though the reality varies greatly from street to street.