So, you’ve decided to take the plunge into the deep dark depths of the property market? What you’re set to discover down there is anyone’s guess. It’s a murky, shape shifting world where nothing is as it seems and all that’s assured is unpredictability. Factor the country’s current political instability into things and you’re going to need some serious guidance (and a crystal ball) to get you through those first steps. Well, we’re here to help, with these; our 5 IDEAL tips for buying your first property.

GET AN ESTATE AGENT WITH LOCAL KNOWLEDGE ON BOARD

First things first, you need to find a real, reliable estate agent. Unfortunately it’s a job which has a bad reputation, with those who are just out there to get commision, charming and smarming their way through things and ruining it for the rest. Regrettably the temptation to avoid these besuited chancers is to turn to low-cost online national estate agents, who certainly have their benefits, however many don’t have local representatives, specific to the area you’re looking in. And this can be of huge detriment to making the savviest, cost effective purchase. Instead, hone in on a location specific branch, for instance if you’re looking to settle down in Essex, google estate agents Brentwood to find a reliable property agent who can offer the best insider knowledge on the area.

ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

If you don’t ask, you don’t get, as the old adage endures. And this is particularly pertinent in the world of property; every single one will have some sort of skeleton in the closet needing to be unearthed through searching, specific enquiries. When it comes to estate agents and home owners looking to sell you a property, go deep, go personal and don’t be afraid to ask anything if you feel it makes a difference to your overall perspective of a place. We’ve written 10 IDEAL questions to ask when viewing a house here; check it out.

CONSIDER THE PROPERTY TYPE

Types of property available in the UK are hugely varied, from flats, terraced houses, detached houses, bungalows and more. One key consideration is whether you’re going to invest in a new build or older property. There are, of course, benefits to each. Period properties can be appealing to tenants that like their home to have some history behind it, whereas new builds are often more eco-friendly and generally cheaper to run than older builds. And the energy efficiency of a prospective home, due to rising gas and electricity prices and concerns about the environment, should be a factor in your buying decision.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

That crystal ball we mentioned earlier? Time to give it a good shine. Because location is everything in first time property purchases, and being able to predict which areas are on the up (and conversely, of course, on the down) is crucial to your buy being a fruitful investment rather than a wasted opportunity. More importantly, personal considerations should guide your choice of where you want to buy a house. From bringing up your children to retirement plans, if you have a vision of what you want to happen in your future, then location is everything. 

DO IT YOUNG

The average mortgage is 25 years long. That’s one, long slug towards the finish line, and a burden you don’t want to carry on tired, old shoulders. So, get in there young, even if you have to beg, steal and borrow (mainly this one, of course) to do so. Seek a lending hand wherever you can, and view things as an investment rather an impediment to your spending on a social life, weekly shop and the rest. In the long run, you’ll thank yourself for the foresight.

 

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.