Creative Ways To Find Your Dream Home
You’re in the market to buy a home.
It seems straightforward, right? You bookmark all the property sales websites; take note of local estate agents; and start driving through your preferred streets in search of ‘for sale’ signs.
These, however, are not the only ways to find your dream home.
1. Nab an off-market property bargain
Many properties in the UK are sold without ever making it on RightMove let alone erecting a ‘for sale’ sign in the front yard. When a property is sold before being listed it is referred to as an “off-market” property sale. A benefit of this type of sale is that it may allow you to nab a real bargain, especially if the seller is keen to offload the property sooner rather than later.
Some methods that could help you nab a bargain include:
1. Making friends with local agents
2. Know when agents are taking holidays (some may be keen to sell their properties before they leave)
3. Do a letterbox drop in your preferred area
4. Get yourself a buyers agent
2. Consider looking off the beaten track
Sure - we may all love to live in Notting Hill or the Cotswolds, but chances are, these locations just don’t align with your budget. Keeping an open mind about the location of your new home could be the key to truly finding a property that suits you, and your family, perfectly.
If you work in London and are keen to retain some remits of that big city lifestyle, it’s probably worth looking into a commuter town. Read our article on Top London Commuter Towns for a list of areas that may suit you. You’ll be surprised how much more bang for your buck you truly get, as you commute further out of LDN.
If you’re not fussed about living close to the capital, there are great bargains to be found in other buzzing cities and towns across the country. York, for example, was recently named the best place to the live in the UK while these areas have also been heralded as fantastic to live in.
3. Be a smart house viewer
Looks can sometimes be deceiving. A house or apartment might initially seem ideal, but further inspection may reveal some less than desirable features that might cost you big-time later on. It’s important to go to property viewings prepared - knowing what to look for and the right questions to ask. That way you’ll be able to more accurately identify whether a home is right for you.
Read our article: Buying A Home - Housing Viewing Tips for more information on how to get the most out of your house viewings.
4. Up your budget
This tip isn’t exactly rocket science. If you’ve got more money to play with, you’re of course more likely to be able to close a deal on your dream home. To do this, you’re going to have to commit to some hardcore saving. Read our article - How To Save For A House Deposit for some practical ways to top up your savings account.
5. Get creative
The idea of the ‘dream house’ is actually a bit of a myth. All properties have advantages and disadvantages. It’s really unlikely that you’re going to find a property that ticks every single one of your boxes.
There are a number of ways you can work towards making your new property truly feel like a home (and your dream home) once you’ve moved in through, for example, renovations and decorating choices, even if you’re on a tight budget. We recently wrote a fun article about How To Make Your Home Pinterest-Worthy which includes lots of fun, creative and cheap ways to turn your property into a special place to live.
Happy house hunting!
For more advice, please feel free to get in touch with a friendly member of the GW team.
More advice for first-time home buyers
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Content correct at time of publication.