What do I need to consider before buying a home?

Houses

The ideal home?

I’ve blogged before about my plans to  get on the property ladder in the next five years (we’ll see!). In this post Ben from Livingroom estate agents in Guernsey shares his tips for finding the perfect home…

If you are thinking about investing in your first home, you have most likely made the usual considerations of your daily commute, the affordability factor and whether or not you have enough space. Investing in property however does not begin and end there, and so before you take the final leap: here are some things to consider before buying a home.

1.)   Monthly Bills

When choosing a home, it is all to easy to get carried away with calculating how much you can afford in terms of mortgage repayments, however it is important to remember that there is much more than mortgage payments to deal with when buying a home. Council tax changes from area to area, as does electricity, water, Internet access and water bills. So before settling it would be a good idea to consider whether or not buying the home you are thinking of is something that you can afford, not just in terms of monthly mortgage repayments, but in terms of monthly billing that comes naturally with every house.

2.)   Traffic

No matter how beautiful, spacious and delightful the home you are looking at is, sitting in traffic for three hours on a daily basis, or listening to the sound of humming cars twenty four hours a day will quickly turn it into a living nightmare. The same goes for over strict parking conditions, having no space for your car, or having space for your car that you are not confident about. Whether you have a car or not, local traffic conditions will not only affect your home insurance, it will also have an impact on noise pollution, your windows, how often you can invite visitors, whether or not you will have to apply for permits on a yearly or monthly basis and also affect the quality of your time in your home as well as the air. So before committing, make sure you are in full knowledge of traffic conditions around your home as these can seriously impact your quality of life.

3.)   Lighting

Window

Too dark?

If you have (like most buyers) viewed your home in the summer time, then you may have seen the home literally in the best possible light. However, as time goes on and as seasons change, you will find yourself more and more affected by the levels of natural light and sun that your home gets and so it is important to consider this a the beginning, rather than at the end of your home purchase. Homes in shade that get little natural light will not only lose their value quicker, but they will also cause long and depressing winters and autumns. Assess the sources of natural light and access to light in your home and garden before committing as this is the one factor of the home that really does have a long-term impact on the mood of the inhabitants.

4.)   Security 

Security is a very important consideration to make, and so it is important to be aware of potential security threats to your home, property and car at the beginning instead of when you are penalized by your insurance company.

Ben writes for Livingroom, which has houses for sale in Guernsey. He loves to blog about property and help people get on the ladder.

Image credits: Homes in the snow, Too dark?

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