Whether you’re looking for your first home or forth, navigating the housing market can be a daunting and time consuming process.

After all, this is one of the most significant financial decisions you’ll ever make in your lifetime, so it’s worth doing your research and setting out any priorities on what features are important in finding your ideal house and to ensure there are no hidden issues.

As most are looking to move now with the extension to the stamp duty holiday and new UK 95% mortgage scheme, here are some useful factors to consider when buying a house and to help create a checklist of points for viewing potential homes.

Your budget & mortgage

Before you begin your house search, you should determine your budget first in order to make a decision that will accommodate both your finances and goals.

Look at how much savings you have in what can be used as a deposit, including any extra fees and costs, as well as asking yourself questions on whether you want a home with a garden, driveway or certain number of bedrooms. Once you obtain a mortgage of a certain amount, you will be able to look at properties within your price range.

Tip: Don’t be put off by purchase price if it’s slightly above budget as some sellers are open to offers, so don’t be afraid to step up and ask for a price reduction.

Location & size

Next is all about location, location, location. Of course, we all want a desirable area to live in and it’s important to take into consideration distance from the nearest shops, schools, recreational places, and how easy it is to access travel routes and commute to work.

Depending on your preferences, some homebuyers don’t mind being on the main road, whereas others prefer a quieter setting with a lot on a cul-de-sac or side road.

It’s also worth checking out if there are any ‘up and coming’ areas where house prices are reasonable and expected to increase over time.

Size of lot

One of the most important factors to consider when buying a house is how much space the lot and property has to offer. It’s size can have a major impact on your home’s use and potential, especially if you want to have an extension, or build an outdoor space such as a garage, workshop or summer cabin in the future.

As you view a property, check its dimensions and see how each room will work for you, your partner, or family if it means altering its layout. Privacy is another important element for the length and shape of your garden or driveway.

Home appliances, fixtures and fittings

Everyone wants to get their money’s worth, and for an enjoyable living experience, it’s nice to have quality home appliances, fixtures and fittings.

Taking the time to estimate the age and condition of the washer, boiler, stove or even fireplaces ensures all systems are up to date, and suited to your preferences, in case an upgrade is required. You can also check to see how convenient it will be to use or add certain appliances and smart gadgets, fixtures and fittings to your home, enabling you to customise it the way you want to.

Age of the house

Finally, the age of the house you’re buying can make or break whether you want to purchase it or not. Older houses are known to have a more charming appeal, however in the long-term they may require more maintenance work, so long as your willing to put in the time and budget into renovating. If you’re only interested in a newly-built property, then this can be irrelevant, however, that doesn’t mean you should buy-pass the condition of any property you will be viewing, which is why condition and homebuyer reports are vital for an extensive inspection.

If you’re looking to buy a home, Torus Surveyors can assist you choosing the right type of house survey, explaining house survey costs, and their respective advantages. Contact Torus Chartered Surveyors today on 0161 929 7892 or email info@house-survey.co.uk and we’ll be happy to help.