First time buyer’s guide: finding your home

Finding your own Ideal Home

Now you know what you can afford, and which mortgage is best for you, it’s time to find a house!

Write down some of the areas you may want to live in. If you’re considering an area that you don’t know too well, talk to one of our local agent who can advise on the finest areas and even the most appropriate roads to consider to meet your needs.

Writing a list of your property requirements is also useful, how many bedrooms do you want to park off the road? Does a workplace or school need to be within walking or driving distance? Need a secure, enclosed garden for kids or family pets?

The easier it will be, the more you think about what you want. If you don’t know yet what you want in your property, what are the essentials and what can you live without. View some properties and develop your list as you go.

If you’re not sure what you might or might not want yet, it’s always a good idea to begin looking at some properties. Soon you will develop a better idea of what you like or don’t like and what you can or can’t live without.

House viewing:

Talk to someone / take a friend

Never go alone to a viewing. Either bring a partner or friend, or attend a estate agent in the viewing. It’s not only safer, it’s always good to have someone to bounce off ideas. Having a second opinion – and a fresh pair of eyes – can be very helpful, and somebody else can often spot something you missed.

Be friendly

Building a vendor relationship will make you more memorable, which will always be useful if you want to accept your offer. A healthy vendor connection can also assist with a smooth sale

Has any work been done?

Ask how to modify the property and ask for copies of receipts and guarantees.

Check the plumbing/ Bills

How long does it take the hot water to come through the tap? Does the heating work? 
Ask for bills from the utility and council so that you understand what to expect.

Check outside of the property

Are there any indications of damp, such as peeling paint or tide marks on the walls? Is there any loose roof tiles?

Really look

Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases you’ve ever made, so nobody can object that you’re as thorough as possible. Check all, including cupboards inside and under the sink. If a loft or basement exists – Check those too (and if need to borrow a flashlight). Look out for damp and paint peeling.


Consider all the things you want to ask questions about that are crucial to you and create a list before you go to the perspective. Once you are inside the property, it can be very simple to forget stuff.

Check what is included

Ask what equipment the owners will leave. Carpets? Oven? Curtain poles?

Drive By

There should be no underestimation of the first impressions. You should go and see the property from the outside even before registering. This is often enough to know that you don’t like a property. By driving around neighbouring streets, you can get a good feel for the neighbourhood too. To assess stuff like traffic noise, it is worth doing this both during the day and at night.