How To Play The Property Dating Game And Find Your Perfect Match

Property journalist Sharon Dale reports

Marry in haste and repent at leisure is a wise old adage and it also applies to buying property.
 
It is very easy to fall in love with a home and make a snap decision to buy only to realise, after moving in, that it really doesn’t suit you at all.

Just like a divorce, it is costly, stressful and time-consuming to move on.


I speak from experience. 

One of my first homes (I moved a lot before finally settling down) had the most wonderful views from the sitting room window. So that was it, “sold” to the woman who let her heart rule her head. 
 
What I didn’t realise until I moved in was that parking was a nightmare.  When I viewed it during the day there were plenty of spaces on both sides of the street. However, a neighbouring street had no parking at all so in the evening and at the weekend, there were battles, blazing rows and malicious damage. It was a horrible place to live.
 

Mistakes?


I have made a few when playing the property dating game and so here are my tips on how to find your perfect match when buying new:

It is very easy to have your head turned by a beautiful interior. The best show home designers know exactly who the target buyer is and what his and her tastes are likely to be. So the kitchen will be perfect, the curvy Smeg fridge will try to seduce you and so will the gorgeous sofa, expensive Cole and Son wallpaper and the French-style bed but you must be strong. You won’t get any of these trimmings anyway. Think about the location of the property. This must be your prime consideration.
 

Parking.



House Type at Miller Homes' Flaxton Court Development

Now that many households have at least two cars, where to park has to be a primary factor when coming to a decision on whether to buy. This is when buying new really helps as developers almost always factor this into their designs. I’d also look at traffic levels in the area. The brochure might tell you you can get to work in the city within 20 minutes but in rush hour the journey time could treble.
 

Size and space matter.



Floor Plans for Avant Homes Plot 104 at Willow Tree Park in Hartlebury

All brochures will have details of how big a property is and you should take note of the square footage. Perhaps more important is how clever the developer has been with this space. Think about how you will use the rooms and whether there is sufficient storage. If you haven’t got enough then your dream home may end up cluttered and ugly. Floor plans are great for working out where to put your furniture and belongings.
 

Schools.


If you are young and in love and looking for your first home, you may well have thought about having children. What you may not have considered is where they might go to nursery and school. It might seem just a bit too far into the future but it isn’t. So do your homework and check the Oftsted reports of the nearest schools. Otherwise, when little ones come along and money is tight, you may find yourself trapped and unable to move to find better quality education.
 

Gardens.



The Abode Collection By Redrow Homes

Think carefully about outside space before you decide it is a deal breaker. Most gardens in new homes are quite small because land costs a lot of money. If builders gave everyone a huge garden, their developments would not be financially viable. So it may look stingy, but consider how and when you are likely to use it and how much time you have for mowing, weeding and planting. Thanks to the British weather you are unlikely to spend much time outside.

Publish date: 07/11/2017