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A Guide to Finding the Right Home

There are over 800 000 properties listed for sale in the UK right now! How do you go about picking the perfect one for you? While people buy properties for many different purposes, the two most common reasons are to invest in a rental property, and to purchase a home to live in. We'll focus on the latter today, but whatever your reason, you should consider the following to find the best fit for you:

1. Location
2. Affordability
3. Availability

1. Location

One of the first things you should think about is where you want to buy. If you're purchasing a home, consider transport links in the area and how easily you can get to your workplace, for example. Do you want to keep away from major roads to minimise noise pollution? Make sure you explore the neighbourhood you are considering, and speak to locals who can give you a better picture of the vibe of the area. In addition, check for upcoming planning proposals which may change the location, if developers are building, it is a good sign that it is a growing area, but you don't want to only realise that a factory is being constructed next door after you sign the contract!

Remember: you can make changes to a property, but you can't move it!

2. Affordability

Sure, that shiny waterfront house looks fantastic. But can you realistically afford it? There's no point pining after the property of your dreams if it's going to be financially unfeasible. Many people suggest that the total amount you pay towards your mortgage shouldn't be more than 28% of your gross income. Also remember to plan for unexpected changes of circumstance!

For more on affordability, check out our article here:
3. Availability

Now that you know what you can afford and where you would like to buy, you need to have a look to see whether the kind of property you like is available in the area you are looking. While you may have your dream home in mind, it is probable that you will need to make compromises and evaluate the weight of certain likes and dislikes. For example, you may be looking for something with 3 bedrooms, but could that property with 2 bedrooms and a study that comes comfortably under budget be a sensible choice instead? 


Today, most people start their search on online portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla. These are very useful as they collect a comprehensive range of properties from different estate agents and can allow you to easily pinpoint price trends and scope out most properties on the market. In addition, many online sites give the option of setting up alerts so you can be notified immediately when a property matching your needs is listed.

However, it is important to note that not all properties being sold will be featured online, particularly in fast-moving markets where they can sell before they have hit the web. Thus, do consider also registering directly with estate agents who are active in the area you are looking in.

Finally, some properties are sold privately, and you can search private sales websites and advertisements in newspapers and magazines to find these and widen your options. 

Happy property hunting!

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