Are you starting to think about getting on the property ladder? It can be difficult to know what to look for, particularly if you have never rented or moved out of home before. 🏠 Here are some of the things you should look for from your first home:
Location is arguably the most important deciding factor when it comes to buying a home. Unlike other factors such as interior style or even size, this cannot be changed and so you need to make sure you’re happy with it.
You may already have a specific location in mind, but it is wise to explore several areas and book viewings that vary slightly in geography as you never know what gems you might find.
That being said, don’t compromise too much on what you’re looking for from an area. This will vary for everyone so just think about what your main priorities are, this could be anything from distance to family and friends, commute time, or proximity to local amenities.
Style, design, and layout
When it comes to choosing a home, it’s important to consider not just the architectural style, but also how the layout and design will suit your lifestyle and needs. Here are a few popular home styles to consider, along with their unique characteristics:
- Ranch-style homes: These homes are known for their single-story design, making them a great choice for those who want to avoid stairs. They often feature an open floor plan and large windows, making them great for entertaining and indoor-outdoor living.
- Colonial-style homes: These homes are characterized by their symmetrical design, and often feature a central front door with evenly spaced windows on either side. They typically have a formal layout, with a separate living and dining area.
- Craftsman-style homes: These homes are known for their use of natural materials, such as wood and stone, and often feature a front porch and exposed rafters. They typically have a cozy, warm and welcoming feeling
- Contemporary/Modern-style homes: These homes have clean lines, large windows and an open floor plan. They tend to be minimalistic in design, with an emphasis on natural light and an open, airy feel.
- Tiny homes: Tiny homes are becoming more and more popular, and for good reason. These small, compact homes are perfect for those who want to downsize, simplify and live more sustainably.
Ultimately, the style of home that will suit you best will depend on your personal preferences, lifestyle and needs. Take the time to consider what’s most important to you in a home, and choose a style that aligns with those priorities.
As much as a renovation project can be fun, taking one on for your first home is not always wise. If you work in a trade this may not apply to you but buying a home that requires a lot of work might not be the best idea for a first-time buyer. Renovations are not just costly and time consuming, they can also be very stressful and require a lot of planning.
If you are looking for a home you can move straight into and enjoy right away then it could be worth looking into new build homes, or at least purchasing a home that has been well maintained and only requires cosmetic work.
Room to grow
When buying your first home, if your budget affords, you should look for a property that offers room for growth. This doesn’t necessarily mean having children, but simply being able to live there for more than a couple of years if possible. For example, if you change jobs and start working from home, is there room for a home office? If a family member moves away, does your home have the potential to host them when they come to visit? Considering these things before making a purchase means you will get better longevity from the house and save money on frequent moving costs.
Although this is something that can be improved, if possible, you should look for a home that has a good EPC (energy performance certificate) rating. A home’s EPC will detail how energy efficient it is which includes typical energy usage and energy costs. This is particularly important to know during the current cost of living crisis.
A home EPC will be determined by a variety of things including how well insulated the home is.
You should also consider generating your own clean energy, with solar. Solar power is becoming increasingly efficient and affordable, which can lower your energy bills and help the planet.