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Buying a home can be stressful. But having a list of things to consider can help to reduce the hassle. Read our list of top tips from our Head of Residential Conveyancing, Karen James.

Can you afford it?

Before applying for a mortgage, you need to know whether you can afford the monthly repayments. Mortgage lenders will look at your income and outgoings to see if you can keep up with repayments today, and if interest rates rise or your circumstances change.

What kinds of property are available?

Once you know what you can afford you need to establish if the type of property you want is available in the area that you want it. In most cases, buyers will have to compromise a little. Talk to estate agents and look online to get a better idea of what’s available.

Is the location right for you?

No matter how much you love a home, you should always check the surrounding area. Look at the state of the streets, pubs, shops, parking, etc. Be sure to visit at different times of the day (and night) to see if there is any change in noise/traffic levels. You should also consider how an area might change in the future.

Have you assessed a property’s suitability?

You've found somewhere you love - and can afford – but you need to make sure that it works for you.

Consider things like:

  • Whether your family and friends are nearby
  • If it is convenient for work
  • Whether you can access the facilities you need/want (e.g. shops, restaurants, parks etc.)
  • What the car parking situation is like
  • How good the local schools are
  • If there is enough space (for now and in the future)
  • What crime is like in the area
  • How noisy it is.

Do your research and always ask sellers why they are moving. You should also ask the sellers if there have been any problems and what potential noise there might be.

How the value might change

The value of any property will change over time. Consider the following factors to make sure you are making a wise investment:

  • New developments in the area (both residential and commercial)
  • Transport links
  • Businesses moving into/leaving the area
  • If the property has a short lease

The Land Registry has detailed information on completion prices so you can get an idea of whether prices are rising or falling in an area.

If you’re ready to purchase your dream home, contact our Residential Conveyancing team on 01484 821 500 or email getmoving@ramsdens.co.uk.