What Are The Most Important Things To Consider When Buying A Home?
Are you thinking of buying a home? It's an undoubtedly big step, but once you're in the right place to take that leap, it could be less stressful than you imagined.
All it takes is a little research about what you're looking for, and how much you want to spend. So we've put together a guide about some of the most important things to consider, when buying a home:
What’s my budget?
Budget is one place where a bit of planning goes a long way: It’s not just how much you have for a deposit versus how much the house costs. But don’t panic: This is also where finding the right mortgage (and mortgage advisor to take you through things) is invaluable! They are used to the ‘silly’ but important questions. Also, speak to people you know who have gone through the process.
Here’s what you need to take into account:
Up Front: The cost of buying a house is not just a deposit. Take into account legal costs, and budget for repairs, decorating, and furnishing. (It may be slightly more than you think!)
For Repayments: Remember utility bills, as well as mortgage repayments.
‘Must Haves’ versus ‘Nice to Haves’
There’s a big difference between what your dream home has to include, and what would be a plus point. So though obviously you hope to find a property that has it all; keep your priorities in check, and make sure the deal-breaking must-haves are prioritised. Of course these can be very different for different families. But they may include:
Must Haves: Number of bedrooms, parking that fits your needs, location in relation to schools.
Nice to Haves: South facing garden, attic space, bath as well as shower.
Don’t rule out your options, too early on
Though some of your priorities may be obvious, others may only become clear when you start looking, and see what you love/what is missing, in each property. Within basic parameters (budget, rough location etc) try to look at as many different possibilities as you can. This will help you to clarify what is really important. You may be surprised: One neighbourhood might have a much nicer feel than you expected; or you may realise how much you want room to entertain, or a certain type of outside space.
How much work are you genuinely willing to do on a place?
There is a very steep sliding scale of amounts you’ll need to do. If a house is an absolute bargain, this may mean it will need work that is more structural than cosmetic:
- Do you want somewhere in mint condition, that only needs your furniture to be complete?
- Are you willing to spend a bit of time changing carpets and getting a new kitchen?
- Do you love getting your hands dirty with a big project?
Deciding how much you’re willing to do (and whether you can delay moving in, or only want smaller jobs that can be done gradually) will help keep you focused.
Get to know the area
Even if you’re only moving around the corner, you might find that different localities have surprisingly large contrasts, in terms of atmosphere and amenities. Try to visit at different times of day, and midweek/weekend:
- What are the public transport links like?
- How is the traffic/parking?
- If your little ones aren’t in school yet, what are the creches/schools like (think about future, as well as immediate needs.)
- Is there a neighbourhood feel? Are there other families around?
- How close is it to shops/supermarket/parks/library/cafes etc?
- Would you, and the rest of the family, feel safe and relaxed there?
Do the head and the heart approve?
Though it’s good to be aware of how your area fits into the grand scheme; thinking too much of ‘strategic’ buying always seems a little risky. Instead, really focus on how a home will work for your family now, and in the future. You need to know it’ll suit your family, your budget, and your lifestyle; in the most practical senses. But you also need somewhere you’ll love going home to, and that your kids will cherish growing up in. It’s a very big decision; but it might just be one of the best you ever made.
To help make this big decision a little more manageable; Ulster Bank have Mobile Mortgage Managers who are happy to meet wherever suits you; and a Video Chat option, so you can get your mortgage application moving, without even having to get to a branch.
Even better than this, they have a great new rates on offer for new & existing customers; so when your fixed term ends; you can choose the best deal to suit your circumstances. And customers will receive €1500 when they take out a mortgage with Ulster Bank, to help cover legal fees.
This article is kindly sponsored by Ulster Bank, a leading provider of mortgages in Ireland. Call 1800 303 004 to discuss the mortgage that’s right for you.
Ulster Bank - Help for what matters.
Important information: Maximum Loan to Value (LTV) is 90% - varies by buyer type, see ulsterbank.ie for more details. Apply by 31 December 2017. Following mortgage drawdown €1,500 will be transferred into the customer’s current account, from which the mortgage payment is made, within two months. Mortgage offer must be issued within this period. €1,500 payment is a fixed amount and is a contribution to or a reimbursement of legal fees incurred. Excludes home movers on 10 year Tracker product, Further Advance, Negative Equity, Retentions and Transfer of Title. Includes Buy To Let. Lending criteria, terms and conditions apply. Over 18’s only. Republic of Ireland residents and properties only. Credit facilities subject to repayment capacity and financial status. Security and insurance required.