It can be a daunting time looking a houses, deciding what is right for you, what something may cost, what problems can occur later on down the line. This also makes it exciting, so fear not. We have listed a few pointers to help you on your way. if you do get stuck, we are just a phone call away and will always help where we can. 

1. Your mortgage & Costs. Make sure you have looked into a mortgage (if you need one). You want to be in a position to offer should you find that perfect house. Typically, you tend to need a deposit of around 10% or your total purchase price. A mortgage advisor is best placed to look at your finances and advise on the best options for you. Also, consider other costs such as mortgage fees, survey fees and solicitor costs. You have to take into account any tax that might have to be paid, depending on the value level you intend to buy at. Make sure you have a valid, bank approved agreement in principle, one that has been credit checked, as an estate agent will ask for this to prove you can afford to buy!


2. Property location. its all location, location, location! But this can set pricing too. if your desired area is out of your price range, think about compromising on a different location, it may mean you can get a bigger property, or an extra bedroom or a larger garden for less. Maybe look at a property that needs work. If this doesnt scare you, you can often secure a property for a better price if it's you that has to put the new kitchen in. 


3. Commuting. Might be a side thought in the excitement of finding a new house but with traffic levels now, being on the opposite side of town to where you work, or away from the motorway you need to get to can prove fustrating and take the gloss off your new pad. Getting stuck in the commuter car park doesn't do anything for ones quality of life!


4. Future Sale. Whilst thinking ahead 5 or 10 years will not always be high the agenda at this point. You want to be sure that the investment you make now will reap its rewards later on down the line. Check how long the property has been on the market, how many times the price has been reduced, is there possible flooding risk in the area and how do the houses around this one look - are they cared for. If a house is struggling to sell now, could it be the same in the future?


5. Condition. How does it look from the outside, and the inside? Changing an old front door or redecorating isn't going to break the bank. It is the bricks and mortar you are really buying, the roof and the structure. So keep an eye out for tell tale signs of issue. Like a sagging roof line, or bubbling paint work and damp. Whilst you may be able to find a house cheaper that needs work, hidden issues can cost big time and ruin the experiance. 


6. Solicitor. Choosing the right solicitor can be difficult. Whilst they are all qualified to do the job, quality of service can vary dramatically. Take note of personal recommendation, online reviews and advice from estate agents (they work with them day to day). The cheapest option is not always the best. 


A typical purchase takes on average 12 weeks from point of offer to completion. Your solicitor and estate agent will guide you through the process and advise what to do and when. If you are concerned about anything or need help with your search, call Hawkins on 02476 374949 or email