Choosing a property
The first thing you need to decide when you buy your first property is what sort of area you want to live in. Make a list of the things that matter most to you. These might include having a good school nearby, convenient local transport links and convenient shops or restaurants.
Next, you will need to decide how many bedrooms you want, whether you need a garden and whether you would prefer a house or a flat.
Bear in mind that bigger properties not only cost more to buy, but also normally cost more to heat and maintain as well. With this in mind, you may prefer to choose a newly built house, which should require less upkeep in the first few years. A bigger property also means a bigger Council Tax bill.
You may never find one property that is absolutely ideal in every respect. Be prepared to trade off one factor against another as you look around. For example, you might be prepared to live in a cheaper area if that meant being able to afford a garden.
Here's a quick checklist.
- Distance to work and quality of local transport if required.
- Quality of schooling if required.
- Quality of local shops and restaurants.
- Transport links (e.g. to visit friends or relatives).
- Other important amenities (e.g. local parks or leisure options).
- Type of property
- Affordability. (See our mortgage calculators)
- Will you be able to afford the heating, other maintenance and on-going costs including Council Tax?
- Are you looking for a flat or a house or a bungalow?
- If a house, are you looking for detached, terraced or semi?
- Are you looking for something old or new?
- How many bedrooms do you need?
- What is the size of the garden?
- Does it have a garage?