Buying a property? Our Guide on taking your first steps by Heather Hilder on March 1, 2016 “Are you buying a property?” So you’re ready to take your first steps onto the Property Ladder. You’re excited about buying your first home and even if it’s not a castle it’s likely to be your first major investment. The property industry mantra of ‘Location, Location, Location’ is imprinted on your mind – but, stop, and ponder, using the mantra ‘More haste, less speed’. Here we share our top considerations what other things should you take into consideration. 1. What can you afford? People often fall in love with houses before they have put their finances in place. But this lifestyle approach to house-hunting will end in tears. The best approach is to discuss your finances with an FSA approved Independent Financial Advisor (IFA) who will be able to determine what you can afford. They will also be able to arrange a mortgage for you or at least point you in the right direction. Once your finances are in place you are in a strong position to go house hunting. 2. Where do you want to live? The location of the property should be high on your list of priorities. If you get the location right then your first home may turn out to be a solid long term investment. However, you may also want to consider short term gains from home ownership and explore the local transport links. What will your commute be like to and from work? Vary the times of travel, when you are assessing how long that 5 mile journey should, and will, take. Also is the location a place where your friends are likely to hang-out? What is the neighbourhood like for cafes, bars, restaurants and shops? Are there parks, gardens, walks in the vicinity? 3. School League Tables If your disco days are behind you and “garage” to you means a home for your lawn-mower rather than a genre of music, other location essentials should gravitate into your radar. Top of most parents’ list is getting their loved ones into the “right” schools which nowadays include nursery, primary as well as secondary. Entry selection for top performing schools is still largely based on postcode. However, this is not the lottery most people perceive it to be as the more discerning parents do their research and specifically buy homes in these academic hotspots. 4. Property Types The size of property you will be able to buy will largely be determined by the size of your budget, and your living space requirements. Are you up- or downsizing? The style of property will then come down to your individual tastes and preferences. Purchasing a brand new home will not provide the added value opportunities that an older property may allow e.g. loft conversion. But if you want to do your bit for the environment they do score highly as a green alternative. Many new homes come with the latest energy-efficient appliances that make them 6 times more energy-efficient, and generate over 60% less CO2 emissions than older style homes, which is the equivalent of driving 10,000 miles less a year per household. If you are considering buying a listed building in Brighton & Hove, make sure you are aware of the implications. There are specific rules which apply even to Grade II listed buildings that means you must seek approval for a variety of changes you may wish to make. Buildings in the UK considered of architectural merit are protected from damage through neglect or inappropriate repairs. These buildings are described as ‘listed” and whilst you may have the caché of owning one, you will be bound by rules that prevent you from making a wide variety of changes and using improper materials. Are you considering moving to Brighton and Hove? Then look to Callaways to help you find your dream home. Based in Church Road, we have years of experience helping people find properties. We have a selection of homes available for sale or to rent in Brighton & Hove, so call us on 01273-735237 or firstname.lastname@example.org .