When it comes to searching for your forever home, it can be a slightly daunting experience. There are so many things to think about, including location, room size, garden size, space for extensions, and of course, if you’ll feel settled enough to make it a home for life.
Becoming a homeowner at any point of your life, be it a first time buyer or looking for your forever home, will always sit as a scary experience for anyone. Whether your forever home is a two bed terrace or a 6 bed detached overlooking a lake (lucky you!), a house is by far one of the most extravagant and expensive purchases you’ll ever make. This aside, it is always a huge learning experience. The obstacles you come across and lessons you pick up on the way are invaluable.
When it comes to buying a forever home, you want to make sure that you have fully researched the location, ensuring it does the job for not only you, but for your family/any family you plan to have to grow up in. That is usually the best starting point when it comes to the house hunt.
No matter if a forever home is for you and your family of 5, or for just yourself and your partner, here are some tips to take with your before you start the forever home journey.
1. Assess your finances realistically
Your forever home will become the house you retire in, so manke sure that you haven’t put yourself in a financial mess before you get there. Ideally, it’s advised that in terms of your mortgage, you should aim to spend no more than a third of what you earn in a month (so 1/3 of your monthly income).
With this in mind, where you can, put down as big of a deposit that you can. Most people try to put 10-20 percent down, but if you can put more down, it’s a good call to do so. Plus if you can do this, you’ll get a better interest rate.
2. Seek professional advice
Start off the hunt for your forever home by using online services, like RightMove an Zoopla, for all your information in regards to the house, the area and the value. After this part has been done, it’s useful to research into a good solicitor. You can find a solicitor easily online these days, but it helps to look into local ones who also are experienced with mortgages and housing.
When you find a skilled solicitor, they will guide you through the legal process, advise you if you need to work with a mortgage broker or not, and will give advice on the provider that you decide to choose to go ahead with.
Remember, there are many solicitors out there and don’t just go with someone’s word of mouth recommendation without checking that they have extensive experience within the property and mortgage sector.
3. Research location, and then research some more
Location has never been more important than when searching for your forever home. The place you choose to buy your forever home will serve itself as your local town and neighbourhood until the end of your time (scary thought, I know!).
Only you know what you want to class as an ideal neighbourhood for growing old in. Does it have access to a little town? Is there public transport that is reachable from your home? Are you close to motorways, or is access to the countryside more important?
Consider the distance from friends and family. What might not seen crucial to you right now might be detrimental in years to come.
4. Ask yourself how flexible the home is
Over time, everything can change. The size of your family, your finances, your hobbies, your interests…
Imagine a number of outcomes that could come your way, and apply them to your chosen forever home. Can the house be extended should you have more children, a live in carer, an extended family, etc etc. Or, would the home become too big if children were to leave, or if you were to suddenly become alone due to life circumstances?
Will the home date at any point, or if your mobility suffers, will it become a nuisance in terms of location? It’s even worth considering it’s location in terms of work changes, or if you suddenly have to work remotely from home, how it is situated for changes to signals and working from home.
5. Think about inheritance
It’s not a delightful topic to think about at such an exciting time, but it is something that unfortunatley comes to play when buying a forever home.
See, a forever home is a home which will eventually be passed on when you’re no longer here. If you have children, they will inherit the house, so ask yourself if it is one that could be passed down, and your children/extended family could take over the house and live in it themselves. Or, would it hold it’s value, or even make money, so that it could be an inheritance for your family in terms of them selling the house?
There are an abundance of things to consider when looking for your perfect forever house, but hopefully the list above gives you some food for thought.
Did I miss any important ones off the list? Feel free to leave a comment below!