How To Find Your Dream Home In Six Easy Steps

Let’s be completely honest. While there are plenty of articles and guides out there that claim to take the stress out of moving house, they are not 100% accurate. That is, moving house is always stressful. 

After all, there are many things that can go wrong during the process, whether that relates to paperwork, budgeting, or even finding your new home. As such, you’re bound to feel overwhelmed at some point in the process, especially if you need to move quickly and can’t afford to waste time. 

However, one way in which you can keep your stress at a manageable level during the big move is by being as organized as possible, especially when it comes to finding a nice place to live.

These six expert steps will make it easier to find your dream home, no matter where in the world you may be moving to.

Step One: Put together a budget. 

The first step towards budgeting effectively is determining how much you can afford to spend on your mortgage repayments. For example, while you may have some money set aside for a downpayment or to cover the first few months of rent, it is advised that you “should try to spend no more than 35% of your gross (pre-tax) income on your mortgage.” 

However, when budgeting for your move, remember that it’s not just your mortgage that you’ll have to pay for during this time.  In fact, there are many hidden costs associated with moving, such as 

  • Realtor/ Estate agent fees
  • Moving fees (Van/mover hire, storage units) 
  • Monthly expenses (Bills, utilities, taxes)
  • Repairs and maintenance 
  • Home Insurance 

Of course, there are also plenty of ways to work to keep your move as budget-friendly as possible. For example, if you are not tied to a specific geographic location for work, you may want to look at the cost of living in different cities to see where you will get a better value for money or the chance to grow your savings instead of dipping into them constantly.  Alternatively, you could check to see if you are eligible for local or government financial support schemes that help you to finance this move.

Once you’ve set your budget, however, it is important that you stick to it. If you’re often guilty of overspending, you might want to download a budgeting app that can track your spending and let you know if you risk going overboard. The more accountable you hold yourself, the better!

luxury homes

Step Two: Know what you are looking for.

Having a realistic idea of what you are looking for before you start attending viewings can save you a lot of time and frustration.  This is because it can streamline your search quite considerably, ensuring you don’t attend any property viewings unnecessarily. This can really come in handy if you’re looking to move quickly and feel as though every second counts.

For example, whether you are searching independently or through a realtor, you should be as specific as possible when it comes to: 

  • The overall size of the property 
  • The number of bedrooms/bathrooms you need
  • Property Location 

The clearer your understanding of your vision, the easier it will be to find a home you love. For example, if you’re used to living a life of luxury, then you should focus your attention on luxury real estate viewings, as they are much more likely to meet your standards than homes that need extensive repairs! 

If you have chosen to work with a real estate agent, you should share as much information with them as possible. Don’t worry about seeming demanding or overwhelming, as this information will make it easier for them to find a property that is right for you. 

Step Three: Be Flexible. 

As mentioned above, having a vision in mind of your “perfect” home is useful during the buying process, as it means you can narrow down your search. However, it is unlikely that you’re going to find a place that matches this vision exactly, meaning you should be willing to make some exceptions, especially when you feel as though a property has real potential. 

For example, it could be that you find a home that meets the majority of your needs but needs extensive repairs to be carried out before moving in. In this case, you should weigh up whether or not you’re willing to put the extra time and effort into bringing this property up to scratch. If you don’t mind a bit of hard work, then you should consider putting in an offer! 

Furthermore, you should also pay attention to the fact that the current owner’s aesthetics or design choices may not be to your taste, which could sour your opinion on the property during the viewing process. As such, each time you attend a viewing, try to look beyond the furniture or questionable wallpaper choices. Instead, think about how you would furnish or decorate the space. This could make it easier to find a place you really like, as you’re able to recognize a home’s with potential too. 

Step Four: Take notes during property viewings.

While you may fall in love with the first property you see, experts say that you should view between 5-8 properties before you consider making an offer. This prevents you from falling victim to rose-tinted glasses and ensures that you have a clear understanding of what is available on the market. However, as one viewing can tend to blend into the next, you should make sure that you take copious notes during or directly after property viewings. 

If possible, you should also take photographs and videos of the property, as your own footage tends to be more trustworthy than those appearing on the seller’s site, as they may be edited. The more detailed your notes are, the easier it will be for you to decide which property is the right fit for you – especially if you tend to be a little on the forgetful side. 

Step Five: Carry out a thorough inspection of your new property. 

Before signing the dotted line on the housing contract, you should also be sure to carry out a thorough inspection of the property. For example, while you may have attended a previous viewing with the intention of figuring out whether or not you’d like to live there, you now need to ensure that it’s move-ready. That is, you need to figure out whether there are any pressing maintenance issues that the current owner is not addressing. 

While you may be willing to do a bit of DIY and maintenance upon moving in, identifying these issues ahead of time means that you can factor this into your offer or stipulate in your contract that they must be resolved before you move in. In short, it is a great way to save yourself time, stress, and money come moving day, and it can help you to come out on top during any negotiations. 

Stage Six: Become a pro negotiator.

While there will likely be some kind of middleman organizing the finer details of your move and the sales process, you should also use this as an opportunity to brush up on your negotiation skills. After all, your ability to negotiate effectively during this time could save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

While you should not be unrealistic when sending in offers to sellers, you can always place a lower offer on properties that will require some more care and attention or those that have been on the market for some time. In both cases, some sellers may be desperate to unload the property, which means they’re more susceptible to negotiation. However, you should be able to justify your offer should they question it. If you begin to go back and forth during the process, you should also know your upper limit and when to accept defeat!

Final Thoughts.

Whether you are moving for work or in order to experience life in a big city, finding the right home is the most crucial step in the moving process. After all, as the average adult will move house every 10-15 years, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in this home. It’s also going to cost you a lot of money, meaning it’s important you ensure it’s worth the while! 

With that in mind, you should aim to take your time when moving house, even if your move may be time-sensitive. Rushing the process could mean that you make mistakes that will cost you further down the line or that you end up living in a property you don’t really like. In any case, it’s better to delay the move and give yourself more time to get organized than it is to move and hope things fall into place further down the line. 

Otherwise, you may find that you spend just a few short moves in your new home before you’re already dreaming of moving elsewhere. 

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