How to Narrow Down Home Choices and Choose Your Home
Looking for a new home is an exciting time in your life. The possibilities feel endless and envisioning yourself in a new space can feel exhilarating.
On the other hand, it can also take up a lot of mental space and time and start feeling like a lot of work. Fortunately, you don’t need to be an expert when it comes to how to choose a home that will perfectly fit your needs. All you need are a few well-thought-out guidelines.
Keep reading to find out how you can easily narrow down home choices and choose your ideal home.
What you can find in this article:
Our skilled estate agents at REMAX Star Canning Town are always ready to support home buyers looking for their new home by providing the best advice and using their local area experience to assist them through the process.
Choose Your Home Based on Type
The first aspect you should consider when narrowing down your home choices is space. Consider:
- How many rooms will you be needing?
- Will you be needing outdoor space?
- Are you willing to share any spaces with others?
- Would you prefer your home was completely separated from other homes?
- What type of neighbourhood would your ideal home be in?
Asking yourself these questions is how you can determine what type of home you need. Needless to say, your budget will also have to be factored in when choosing the type of home you want to buy.
Here’s how to choose your home based on type:
Flats are obviously the most popular choice for home buyers. Among their most significant benefits we can count:
- More flats and apartments are available on the market
- Flats are more compact, making them a more affordable home option
- Flats are usually located in densely populated areas like urban centres and offer easy access to everything
These are only some of the reasons flats rank high on the list of first-time buyers. Younger buyers, in particular, appreciate the convenience of living close to the action and having all the services they need on their doorstep.
Another category of home buyers that prefer flats to houses is urban professionals. The reason for this is that flats usually offer a reasonable amount of space close to business centres, making their commutes and lives easier.
On the other hand, given the more limited space they offer, flats may not be the ideal choice for families. Young families with more than one child, for example, are likely to consider the tight living conditions less than optimal and be willing to trade in the accessibility of flats for more space and a bit more peace.
Pros to consider if you want to choose a flat as your new home:
- Since they are smaller, flats are easier to maintain
- The monthly bills and council taxes are lower for flats
- Flats typically offer easier commutes and easy access to public services and transport
- You most likely will not need a car if you live in a centrally located flat
- You won’t be responsible for any external maintenance (although you will be charged for your part)
Cons to consider if you want to choose a flat as your new home:
- The tight space may not fit more family members
- Parking may be difficult to find
- Outdoor space may be limited to a balcony or terrace, if any
- Any other outdoor spaces will be shared
- Since they are usually located in urban centres or more densely populated areas, flats offer less peace and quiet
- You have less privacy since you are surrounded by neighbours on all sides
If you are looking to upgrade on the space and privacy offered by a flat, a semi-detached home may be the next best thing.
With a semi-detached home, you will still have to share one or two walls with your neighbours, but you will have no one above or below you. This comes with certain benefits.
First of all, you won’t have to worry about any noisy upstairs neighbours stomping or listening to loud music while you’re trying to rest or relax. While the possibility of noise disturbances from neighbours remains, it will be more limited. Second, the shared wall makes these types of homes more affordable to buy and to heat or cool.
Since they are also a compact housing option, semi-detached homes can be found in livelier areas and closer to urban centres. They also usually offer easy access to public services and transportation and come with their own parking units.
You can think of bungalows as stand-alone flats. While they may not offer much in terms of space and number of rooms, bungalows do offer privacy.
Because they are one-storey homes, bungalows are ideal for families with small babies and for elder homebuyers. They usually offer compact but well-divided spaces, are easily accessible and have plenty of outdoor areas.
Bungalows also offer homeowners the possibility of increasing the existing living space in the future. You could consider converting the attic or adding an extension to the home to increase the usable area as well as the home’s value.
When it comes to stand-alone housing options, you can’t beat detached homes. They are ideal for larger families especially if they have more than two children. On the other hand, given the ample indoor and outdoor spaces they offer, these types of homes will come at a premium and are not easy to come by in central areas.
As the name implies, detached homes are not connected to any other properties. They are also usually located in quieter areas. This means no immediate neighbours and almost no potential loud noise sources.
In addition, detached homes usually come with a large plot of land and parking and offer more privacy than other options.
Just like bungalows, detached homes offer homeowners the flexibility of making changes, renovations, and additions that increase the liveable space. Most times, all you will require in order to do this is planning permission,
Adding an extension, a bedroom, or a bathroom can also significantly increase the home’s value.
Other factors to consider if you are looking into detached houses are:
- Increased maintenance and utility bills
- More work for outdoor space upkeep
- Higher purchasing cost
- Higher council tax
Terraced homes are also semi-detached and usually located in lively, easily accessible areas. Given that they are row houses and have shared walls, they come with lower utility bills than detached houses and don’t require as much upkeep.
Terraced homes are more compact than town houses and tend to be more affordable. In terms of living space, they are smaller and may not offer the best or most modern layout. If that’s what you’re looking for in a new home, you may want to consider a renovated property or look for older properties and take on the renovation project yourself.
Choose Your Home Based on Budget and Lifestyle
Now that you’ve narrowed down the type of home you want to purchase, the next step in successfully determining how to choose a home that suits your needs should be your budget and lifestyle.
Here’s how to choose your new home based on budget and lifestyle:
Your budget is essential when choosing a new home. Do not leave this step to chance or try to estimate it only roughly. Instead, do your homework and discuss with a finance professional, look into different mortgage or purchasing options, and weigh in how far you can really stretch your budget.
Contacting an experienced estate agent can also help shed light on what home you can realistically expect to get for your money and what types of properties or areas fit your budget.
Now, although most home buyers think of the price of the new home when they think about budget, there’s one more important aspect you have to consider when making your financial plans. That’s the maintenance and utility costs.
That said, you may afford to buy the home. But will you afford to live in it long-term?
Consider the following aspects:
- Does the home need urgent renovations or repair works?
- Will making the home fit your ideal layout or specific needs require extensive work and additional costs?
- What are the stamp duty, council tax, association fees, average monthly utility costs and maintenance costs you can expect?
- Will you be able to afford the monthly mortgage and maintenance fees if your income suddenly drops?
While it’s easy to get over-excited when looking for your dream home, so is pushing your budget past its breaking point. Make sure you leave yourself a little breathing room to be able to fully enjoy owning your new home.
Urban professionals will prefer to be close to the action and are willing to compromise on space to benefit from shorter commutes and easy access.
Families, however, will be more willing to compromise on location to get more space. Or they may compromise on space to gain access to an area with better schools.
Different buyers have different needs when it comes to a new home. That is why you must make sure your new home suits your particular needs.
You should also consider where you see yourself 5-10 years from now and take into account if that in any way changes what your home needs are. A flat may be right for you now if you are single, but will it be what you need when you start a family? Will you be willing to move again once your situation changes?
Consider the following aspects:
- What do you need in terms of space?
- What do you need in terms of transport links?
- What type of neighbourhood would fit your aspirations?
In addition, you should also list out more specific needs like:
- Choose Your Home Based on Its PotentialThe number of bedrooms you need
- How many bathrooms you will need
- If you need an outdoor or green space
- If you need storage or parking
Clearly listing your lifestyle needs will help you narrow down and compare your home choices and decide what property is the one for you.
Choose Your Home Based on Its Potential
There’s another, less common aspect that goes into choosing a new home. Most home buyers consider how well the new home will fit their needs and don’t look much further than that.
However, how well your new home will fit your future needs and the needs of future buyers is also something you should be looking into.
Here’s how to choose your home based on its potential:
The location of a home is important for several different reasons. For one, it must fit your current or future needs. This can mean it must be:
- Close to your workplace
- Close to the city centre
- In the vicinity of an area you are familiar with
- In the proximity of good schools of hospitals
In many cases, your needs may fit the needs of many other buyers looking for the same things. This will translate into increased demand for properties located within the same areas. Demand that eventually translates into a higher property price.
The best thing you can do if this happens is to look into up-and-coming neighbourhoods.
These neighbourhoods are usually located around popular neighbourhoods and have the benefit of offering lower prices only a few streets away from your ideal district. You can find areas with growth potential by widening your search to include areas in the vicinity or enlist the help of a local agent who can tell you all about the ins and outs of each location.
Look into news about community development projects, private projects that could potentially increase the area’s value in 10-15 years to secure a home that will be affordable now and increase its value in the long-term.
On top of growth potential, you should also look into income potential. Many homes have additional spaces that may not fit your required layout. And even though you may initially consider them impractical, you could turn those spaces into money-making spaces.
For example, you could turn an unused garage into a studio and rent it out to cover some of the mortgage payment. Or, convert an unused basement into a flat and do the same.
Homes with large plots of land can house one more building that you could sell off or let and gain additional income. Alternatively, they can be used to grow crops or develop other projects that you could receive grants for.
When looking into how to choose a home that suits your needs, there are many aspects to take into account. However, with a bit of homework and a bit of guidance from professionals, it won’t take you long to secure your dream home.
Contact Remax Star Canning Town’s experienced agents to benefit from their unparalleled market experience and advice that can help you make the life-changing decision of buying a new home effortless. You can always reach our dedicated team by calling 0207 055 0441, visiting our office at 75A Barking Rd, Canning Town, London E16 4HB, United Kingdom, or e-mailing us at email@example.com.