House buying and the art of compromise

House buying and the art of compromise

When you set out to buy a property you will, no doubt, approach the process with a number of pre-conditions in terms of what you are looking for in the property.

For most of us, location is a big factor, whether that is to make a daily commute easier, have access to local facilities, be nearer to friends and family members or to be in the catchment area for favoured local schools.  Then comes the number of bedrooms you would like and other considerations about the actual accommodation – is not having an en-suite bathroom a deal breaker for you?  Is a sociable kitchen/dining space a must?  How about outside space?   All these things help to conjure up a picture of your ideal property – so far so good.  But then comes the reality of the gap between what you want, what is available and, often, what you can afford!

Must have or nice to have?

When setting out it is useful to make a list of those things which are absolutely non-negotiable ‘must haves’ and those which are ‘nice-to-have’.   Thinking about this before you have started the process of looking for a home will mean that you are able to consider this carefully and dispassionately and will give you an idea of where you can make compromises.

If you are buying a property with someone else, you can sometimes be dealing with conflicting requirements, and different red lines. House hunting when two people are looking for different things may make entertaining television but it is not often much fun in reality.    For this reason, it is important to make sure that your ‘must haves’ are well defined.

Stick to your guns…

There is no point in looking at properties which don’t match your non-negotiables.  You would be surprised at the amount of people who have their head turned by a property which does not fulfil their stated criteria at a basic level.  That’s fine if you are sacrificing something which is a nice-to-have, but, your must-haves should remain firm.  It is easy to get carried away and fall in love with a property for very superficial reasons.  Considering the amount of money you are spending, house buying decisions are often made on a surprisingly emotional level.  Having a list and reminding yourself of the essentials when it comes to your new property means that you are less likely to make an expensive mistake.

Be realistic 

If you find you are trawling around, looking at property after property and none are proving suitable, you are out of step with the market, in which case It is likely that you are either going to have to look at your budget or make some compromises on the property.  Property condition is one area where it is possible to compromise and still get broadly the property you want, in exchange for some hard work, if a garage is one of your red lines, could you add one to a property without one?  Is an extension possible to give you the extra space you want?

Don’t just rely on Rightmove… 

Rightmove has caused a revolution in estate agency since its inception 15 years ago and has brought a number of positives with it.  One of the major negatives, in our opinion though, is that it has massively reduced the number of people registering their requirements with local estate agents in favour of setting up an alert on Rightmove.  You can add your search criteria and search area and be informed, by email, whenever a new property comes on to the market.  On the face of it, that seems like a great way of keeping up with what is new to the market and filtering those properties which you wouldn’t be interested in.  We would however still urge you to register your requirements with local estate agents.   Rightmove’s algorithm based filtering may not send you the details of a property which is just outside your stated search area but would be OK for you – or you may never get to hear about a property which was snapped up before it ever got to Rightmove!

Finding the perfect house is hard work, but, being well organised and knowing where you can compromise can help to make the process as painless as possible.  Don’t forget – If you are looking for a property – register your requirements with us and we’ll help you to find your perfect home.