Picking a home


Your budget will determine what and where you can buy. Your choice will often be for a smaller property in a highly desirable area or a larger property in a less popular area. Properties in a highly desirable area often prove to be a better investment as they increase in value more relative to properties of the same price in less desirable areas. From an investment perspective often a good compromise is to pick a location on "the way up".


What are the most important factors for you:

  • how good are the local amenities such as schools, transport, shops and parks?
  • what leisure facilities such as restaurants, cinemas, sports or other recreational opportunities are adjacent?
  • which area has all these facilities but is not yet that fashionable and could be considered to be "on the way up"?

New or Old?

New property requires less maintenance or upkeep or repairs, but often involves upfront unexpected costs for such items as builders extras, decoration and garden creation. On the other hand repairs and renovations to older properties such as extensions, conversions, new kitchens, bathrooms and windows will always cost more than you think. The plus for an older home is you can take your time to work through these improvements; the minus is the additional cost of heating and unexpected burdens such as hidden woodworm, damp, rot, crumbling plaster and old ineffective service mediums such as pipes and wires.

Which property?

  • Click on our Find A Home button to see what is on the market for sale.
  • Speak to and leave your name with as many estate agents as possible in the location of your preference. Talking to these professionals will help you learn more about the process.
  • View a number of houses, perhaps at least, five, before making any offer as you will then have made some comparisons and be in a better position to judge.
  • Visit a target property at least twice and at different times day or night and jot down a list of your pluses and minuses.
  • Remember location is the main factor affecting valuation.
  • Ask how long the property has been on the market and be cautious about property that has been on the market for longer.

Detailed checklist points

  • Find out about the cost of the rates bill.
  • Check the central heating boiler appears functional.
  • Is the property on a main arterial route with fast traffic which may cause you concerns about your kids?
  • Are there safe places for kids to play?
  • Does the rear garden face south or southwest?
  • Is there a nearby regular bus service or adequate off street car parking for your car?
  • Is the property on a pedestrian route between pubs/clubs and transfer depots such as stations/taxi ranks making it more vulnerable to vandalism?
  • If the property is an apartment or townhouse, particularly an older one, be aware and listen for possible neighbour noise problems.

Legal content supplied by Wilson Nesbitt Solicitors.