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For many first-time buyers, purchasing a home is simply a means to getting on the property ladder. Yet at some point, we will reach the day when we want to buy our ‘dream home’; the home in which, all being well, we will spend the rest of our lives.

Yet since we want to ensure that this home is ‘the one’; we need to be very careful before we sign on the dotted line and complete what may very well be, the most expensive purchase of our lives.

Don’t forget about the neighbourhood

The house might be perfect, but what are the neighbours like? Are there good local amenities and transport links? If you have children, is there a good school nearby?

Don’t rely on what the estate agent has to say; never forget that regardless of how lovely they may seem, their job is to sell the house.

Investigate yourself. Knock on the neighbours doors. Good neighbours will be happy to talk to you and should be able to answer most questions about the neighbourhood. If you get a bad feeling about a particular household, don’t ignore your instincts.

Does the house have everything you need?

While sometimes it may be necessary to make a small compromise on your dream home; be careful what you compromise on. If you love the outdoors, don’t let an estate agent persuade you that the garden is ‘quaint’ and will be easier to care for than a large outdoor space.

Similarly, if you might want to extend the home in the future, perhaps to add a conservatory or expand the kitchen, ensure that the house and land offers the space and scope to do so.

If you have any questions about the suitability of a conservatory to a potential property, Stormclad, the bespoke supplier of conservatories and windows in Nottingham, can help.

Inspect the house properly

Don’t rely on the word of the estate agents ‘recommended’ inspector – they will be on the agent’s side, not yours.

Instead, ensure to hire an independent inspector, who has no vested interest in the agent or the current homeowners. It might seem like an extra expense that could easily be avoided, but this inspection could reveal things about the property that otherwise, wouldn’t have been uncovered until the purchase and move was complete.

Don’t rush

If this is going to be your home for life, you can’t afford to be hasty. Visit the home and neighbourhood as many times as you feel fit; ensuring to do so at different times of the day.

Choosing the wrong home will be a very expensive mistake and unless you are happy to live with second best, you’ll soon be repeating this whole process once more.