Get Your Dream Home With These 7 Simple Steps
Ready to purchase your dream home and wondering where you should start? Look no further! In this simple guide we’ve broken down the seven steps you need to take to get the house of your dreams.
Finding the property of your dreams can seem daunting. With so many houses, and so many horror stories, it can seem like an almost impossible task. Fortunately, if you approach it in a structured manner and stay on-task then it’s entirely achievable. We’ll walk you through the entire process. From setting your initial requirements, to understanding what to look out for, right through to completing the purchase of your dream property.
So whether you’re upsizing to accommodate a growing family, or downsizing to settle into your dream retirement home, read on for more information or use the menu below to navigate more easily.
Set your Dream Home Requirements
Knowing what makes your dream home is the first step. Deciding on your ideal property type, location and style is important as this will frame your overall property search. Some may prefer the sleek, modern look of a penthouse apartment, whilst others favour a more traditional country farmhouse. Here are some of the things to consider when setting the requirements for your dream home:
- Location: is a really important factor in determining your dream home. Location will determine critical things like: what schools will you be in the catchment area for? Will you be able to commute to work easily? Will you have access to the great outdoors? And even, what takeaways will deliver to your house? The neighbourhood and surrounding area of your dream home needs to suit your needs. Try to get to the area in advance and spend some time there to see if you like it.
- Property Style: everybody’s different and so is the style of everybody’s dream home. The style of property people desire often depends on their stage in life. Young professionals may prefer a city-centre apartment in a buzzing part of town, whilst retirees likely want something a little quieter.
- Non-Negotiables: whilst you may be prepared to compromise on some things, certain amenities and features are non-negotiable and it’s important to factor them into your decision when choosing your dream home. Making a detailed list of these requirements ahead of time can make the task of finding your dream home easier, and sets up your property search with more structure.
Set a Budget for your Dream Home
Calculate how much you can afford to spend on your dream home by finding out how much equity you have in your current property and how much you could afford to borrow based on your current salary and earnings.
When setting your budget for your dream home you need to make sure that you’re taking into account all of the associated purchase costs of the property such as stamp duty and moving fees. Not just the cost of the property itself. You’ll also need to bear in mind if you’re upsizing to your dream home you’ll end up paying increased running costs like utilities and HOA fees. If you’re thinking about renovating to add a personal touch to your home then you should factor these renovation costs into your budget and make sure you’ve got a buffer for things that may go awry!
Being able to sell your current home is going to be crucial to securing your dream property. Think about which route to sale is going to be the best for you. Will you use a traditional estate agent, auction your property or perhaps sell your house fast using a cash house buyer? Whatever route to market you choose, the importance of being confident in your ability to sell your home in your required timeframe can’t be understated.
Start your Property Search
So you’ve defined your dream home requirements and set your budget. You’re ready to start your property search! Deciding how you’re going to find your dream house is a task in itself. Some great places to start are:
- Online property portals like Rightmove, Zoopla, and OnTheMarket
- Local estate agents
- Auction Houses
- Less common private listing platforms like Facebook Marketplace and Purplebricks
Set up the filters on your search in such a way that you’re taking into account all of the careful preparation work you did in defining your requirements and budget.
Speak to a Local Estate Agent
Even if you’re not planning to buy your dream home through a traditional estate agent, it can be useful to speak to one once you’ve got a broad idea of the area you’d like to move to. This is so you can make the most of their knowledge of the local housing market.
A local agent will help you to get to grips with the local market and get an understanding of things like:
- School districts: if you’ve got kids (or want them in the future) the quality of school districts should be a priority. Even if you don’t have children you should be mindful of the fact that the quality of school districts that your house falls into will influence the value of your dream house.
- Local Amenities: a local agent will have a great knowledge of what kinds of local amenities there are in the surrounding area of your dream home. Things like great restaurants, bars, and cultural attractions not only transform your quality of life when living in an area but also have a huge influence on property price.
- Transport Links: if you’re working in a city and you’re planning to move to a dream property somewhere in the country then transport links will be important. Find out from an agent whether your property is located near convenient routes and fast train links. Again, even if you’re not going to use them to get to work they’re still going to have a huge impact on property value. A local agent will also likely know whether there are any planned transport links, which could have a positive influence on the price of your dream home in the future.
Buy Somewhere with Potential
It can be hard to meet all of the requirements of your dream home with one property. A great way to think about how to meet so many preferences is to buy a property that has the potential to be transformed into the house of your dreams. When you’re thinking about whether a property has potential you should consider:
- Planning permission: if your target property has planning permission for an extension then it could be a great bargain. The cost of building an extension is typically cheaper than the cost of buying a house of the equivalent size. So by creating the home of your dreams from a property with potential, you could also be adding value and profiting in the long run.
- Potential to renovate: perhaps you’ve found a property that’s the perfect size and layout but the style isn’t to your tastes? Consider buying properties that have an older interior design and renovating them to your liking. This can be a great way to save money on the purchase price and have a really bespoke house that’s styled just the way you like it.
- Run-down properties: look at properties creatively when conducting your search. If you can spruce up a property to make it more attractive, you could grab yourself a bargain at the same time as snagging yourself your dream home. Check our our guide on how to improve your home.
Get a Home Inspection
Do your due diligence on your dream property. Getting a professional survey of your target property is an important step and can uncover any issues that might not be apparent to the naked eye. There are a few different types of surveys that you can undertake on a property which have increasing levels of rigour. Condition reports are the cheapest option and designed for newer and conventional homes. Homebuyer reports are a little more expensive and provide you with a property valuation. It also advises on property defects which might influence the value of the property in the future or incur expenses at a later date. This can be particularly useful if you have any concerns about the state of an older property and how much it could end up costing you in the future. Finally, if you’ve cause to be worried about the structural integrity of a building then you can instruct a structural survey. This report is the most comprehensive and will give you information on maintenance options, defects and repairs, and is also essential if you’re planning to buy a larger property or carry out any major works on a property.
Close the Deal!
So you’ve defined your dream home, completed your property search, been flexible with your requirements and conducted a detailed home inspection. You’re ready to make your purchase but first you need to close the deal! When negotiating the purchase of your dream property here are three handy tips to bear in mind:
- Know your market: make sure you’re armed with knowledge of recent sales of comparable properties in the area. This will help you anchor your price with the vendor.
- Find out why the vendor is moving: if the seller is moving because they need to downsize or they are after their own dream home, they might be more inclined to negotiate on price.
- Don’t be afraid to walk away: try not to become too emotionally involved with the purchase. If you’re prepared to walk away, it increases your power in the negotiation and makes it more likely that you’ll be able to get a price reduction.
If you’ve found your dream house and you still need to sell your home, SmoothSale can help. Our cash house buyers service is designed for those who need to sell their house quickly for cash in as little as seven days. We also offer an investor marketing service if you need to sell your house fast but are prepared to wait a little longer to achieve a higher price. Contact us today on 0800 368 8952 for more information or Get a Cash Offer now!