When thinking about locations, decide what factors are important to you. Do you want to be near work? How long would your commute be? Do you have easy access to public transport? How close are you to family and friends? Do your research on the area you're considering. Visit at different times of the day, visit the local shops and talk to some of the neighbours to get a good feel for the place.
What kind of property do you need? Detached or semi-detached? House or flat? How many bedrooms and bathrooms? These are just a few things you'll need to decide on before going to view properties. It will also help you narrow down your choices and save you time during your search.
If you want to move in straightaway, you'll need to find a property in a reasonable enough condition that you can live in it without needing any significant work. If you're willing to spend a bit of time (and money) revamping a property, this might provide you with more options.
Don't expect to find your dream house straightaway. Be patient and take the time to find a house that's right for you and your needs. It's also important to be flexible. You might have a list of requirements in your head, but you have to be realistic as to whether you'll find them all in one place.
- Search on a property website such as zoopla.co.uk Link opens in a new window or rightmove.co.uk Link opens in a new window . You can usually set up property alerts to make sure you hear about the latest properties to hit the market.
- Visit or call more than one local estate agent to discuss what you're looking for and get on their mailing lists.
- Look at property ads in local newspapers and magazines to see what's available and what the house prices are like for the area.
- Speak to them face-to-face – not only will you be able to discuss what you want in more detail, but you'll also have a chance to put a face to a name. This may work to your advantage if you decide to put an offer in later on.
- Don't waste time – you should already have a list of your priorities for the property, so make sure you aren't looking at houses out of scope for your budget. You'll waste time and the estate agent won't take your intention to buy seriously.
- Keep talking to them – make sure you're kept up to date with new properties on the market. Having regular dialogue with the estate agent will become even more important if you decide to make an offer.