Are you on the hunt for the perfect house? Knight Frank offer our best advice for when you decide to start your search allow us to make that process a little bit easier with these top tips!
Choosing the right agent
Choosing the right agent to represent and work with you for your house hunt is important. You should spend some time researching the different estate agents in your area. Speaking with various agents can help you get a feel for them as agents and also how they work in a professional setting. Asking your estate agent for advice may help you to make some important decisions regarding your chosen property. For example, at Knight Frank, we pride ourselves on making long-term relationships which allow us to provide personalised, clear and considered advice. We believe that personal interaction is a crucial part of ensuring every client is matched to the property that best suits their needs.
Money, money, money!
Once you have decided to start the house-hunt, it is important to be realistic about your budget. Once you have started saving and have an approximate figure in your mind, you should decide to make an appointment with your local bank. The mortgage advisor in the bank will be able to help and guide you towards the steps for being successful in securing a mortgage. Of course, moving house is a costly exercise and it is important that you are informed on all of the different expenses that may crop up throughout the process. These can include estate agent’s fees, valuation fee’s, legal fees, home insurance etc.
Another idea for you is to have a rough idea of the prices charged for similar houses in similar areas. Price comparisons can give you a realistic sense of what you can expect to be charged for a home of that size/in that location etc. It will also give you an idea if the property is being over/under valued.
Knowledge is having the right answer. Intelligence is asking the right questions.
Knowledge really is power when house hunting. It is important to ask questions to both the property owner and the real estate agent when house hunting. No matter how big or small the query may be, it is crucial to ask them to ensure you are fully informed. Questions such as why are you selling, is there room to extend and how long has the house been on the market can all help to sculpt the information that you have on a house.
Creating a checklist of what you need and want in a house can be hugely beneficial to you when house hunting. Checklists can focus your mind on what is truly important when you are looking at a house. For example, you might need 3 bedrooms, a good heating system and a garden for your little pup to run around. But you might really want walking distance to the DART, a playroom and a living room and an in-house bar. You should bring this checklist with you to all viewings to take a record of which house ticks which boxes on your list!
A picture says a thousand words
Although the majority of houses which are up for sale will have photographs up online, they are usually professionally taken We would recommend for you to go and view the property yourself and take photographs while walking around. These can help to re-jog your memory a few days, weeks or months after the viewing. Much like the checklist, these pictures can be used to fully evaluate the property and decide whether or not it is for you!
It’s the old real estate mantra; location, location, location!
Of course, location is an integral part of choosing a home. Again, you need to prioritise what is most important to you in terms of location. Are you a young student or couple who is looking for a house which is close to the pubs and night clubs so that you can walk home? Are you a couple who needs to be close to public transport? Or are you forward-thinking in terms of schools for your children? Whatever your needs may be, it is important to let your real estate agent know so that they can best cater for your needs. The location of your chosen home can influence the overall quality of life, neighbours, social opportunities, commute length to work and safety.
Little extras, which aren’t so little!
Other things which may not seem as crucial as the location or price should also be checked and understood.
- For example; what way is the garden orientated? Is it south facing for the maximum amount of sun?
- What is the BER energy rating? With A being the most energy efficient and G being the least, this rating can determine how much energy the house requires, and can influence the attractiveness of the property as a whole.
- Another important factor is if the property offers on or offsite parking. Although it may not be of great interest now if you are not an owner of a vehicle, it may be in the future.
- The attic is also another space to look at in the house. Again, although not glaringly obvious, when it comes to storage and even maybe conversion into another bedroom it is very useful. Definitely worth asking the question!
- Although the potential property may be close to the local DART station or hospital – which of course has its benefits – it is important to recognise the fact that there may be external noise near the property too. For example, a nearby tram line.
If you have any questions, or would like any help in your property search, our Residential and New Homes experts would be delighted to help. You can contact them on 01-6342466 or fill out this contact form.