For most of us, buying a home will be the most important and largest purchase we make in our lifetime. It’s also often a very emotional purchase. Here are five big house hunting mistakes that you want to avoid when looking for that perfect place.
1. Not shopping around.
Shopping around helps you focus on what you do and don’t want from your home. Think of it as trying on different clothes. Every time you visit a home, take the time to envision what it might be like to live there and pay attention to the things you love and the things you hate,refining your list of things that will make it a home you love or one you don’t… Additionally, shopping around enables you to understand if the purchase is good value for you or not. Making a snap decision without comparisons can lead to a purchase you’ll later regret.
2. Ignoring the neighbourhood – as we know, it’s location, location, location.
Location is often just as important as the home. If you love eating out and going to bars, picking a home in the middle of the countryside just because it’s beautiful might not be a great idea. Understanding what you need from your surroundings, such as good schools or country walks, is just as important as finding a home with the right number of bedrooms.
3. Dragging your feet.
People move fast when the property is right. It can be nerve-racking to decide, but you can’t wait forever to pull the ripcord and make an offer. Others will move faster, and you’ll be kicking yourself later if you missed an opportunity because you were moving too slowly. Perfect homes are rare. Don’t get stuck waiting for perfection. Understand what is important to you and the things you are willing and unwilling to compromise on.
4. Getting desperate.
This is the opposite side of dragging your feet. Try not to panic. Don’t start throwing offers around on homes that don’t fit your list of things you can or can’t live with without. It might feel like you’re going to be left behind if you don’t find something soon, but keep a level head and focus, and the right home will come around.
5. Lacking vision.
Don’t let others’ ideas of fashionable wallpaper, carpet or even an unappealing smell distract you from the bones of the house. Sometimes a great home just needs a little bit of imagination. Be realistic about what you can or are willing to take on. Knocking down walls and replacing kitchens might be a step too far for some of us, but most of us can be pretty handy with a paintbrush. Try to look past the decor you don’t like and visualise the home of your future.
Not sure how much you can afford? Try our calculator here and discover your budget. You might be pleasantly surprised!