Buying a property is one of the most important decisions you will ever make, as it’s a long term investment and more permanent than renting a property. Spending time considering what type of home you would like and the location is crucial, as you want to be happy there.

Before looking at properties, work out your budget and make sure you can afford to buy a home. In addition to the mortgage payments, there’s a number of overheads that have to be paid each month, like utility bills, insurance and maintenance, and repairs. Speaking to a mortgage adviser who has attended a CeMAP course will help you to choose the most suitable mortgage for your circumstances.

The size of the property needs to be considered, as you may be in your new home for many years before being in a position to sell and buy a larger property. If you are planning a family in the future, or intend to run a business from home, you may need extra space sooner than you think.

Try not to be persuaded by the decoration of a property, as this can soon be changed whereas some problems can’t be remedied. If you don’t like the layout of the house, this is not simple to change and could end up costing you a large amount of money. Paying for a structural survey may seem like an extra expense, but is a worthwhile investment as it will reassure you that the home is structurally sound. Take advice from professionals if you have any doubts.

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