My First Property

Property Likes Versus Must Haves

For the majority of first-time buyers, a word that looms large is compromise. We'd all like to get our dream home first up, replete with the apocryphal tennis court and swimming pool in the garden, large bathroom with heated jacuzzi, and more en-suite bedrooms then you could know what to do with, a lovely open-plan living room and a kitchen that could accommodate a team of cooks working all at once.

Reality, of course, dictates that for those for whom money does not grow on trees, the first-home has to be much humbler than this, with a view to getting on the ladder, accruing more money over time, hopefully having the property increase in value, then climbing further 'up the ladder' after another period of years.

Given this, what do you compromise on, and what don't you? In order to work that out, you need to think about everything that you want in your ideal home. Just jot them down, in any order, on a piece of paper. For instance, you might have specifics such as a certain number of bedrooms, maximum distance from a good school if you have children, garden, parking space, how close it is to relatives, and of course particulars about the interior of the home too.

Once you've made the list, now comes the hard put crucial part: sub-divide it into two elements: Must-haves and Would-likes.

Now you know exactly what you can compromise on: the would-likes, but none of the must-haves. And don't be tempted to put would-likes that you would really like on your must-haves, only put things that are deal-breakers for you on the must-haves.

Now when you research a house and go around it, take your list with you, and then see how it performs on both sets of criteria. Clearly if it falls short on any must-haves, then it's not for you, but if it meets them all - then take a look at the would-likes it meets, and how that compares to other properties you've seen.

This clear approach can really help when it comes to deciding which house is best for you: you might 'feel' a house is better or just have a general impression it is better, but when you see another house meets 10 nice-to-haves and that house meets just two, the list can really help your head to keep check of your heart.

More first-time house buying articles:

  1. Key Questions to ask at a property viewing
  2. New Home vs Old Home Considerations
  3. Saving For A Deposit
  4. Property Checklist for First Time Buyers
  5. Find an affordable property


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