How to speed up the search for a new home
If you’re buying as a couple, make sure you’re on the same page
Deciding what you need from a new home can be very time-consuming, especially if you are buying as a couple. To make sure you’re on the same page from the get-go, be honest about what you want from a home and make a joint list of requirements. Start with your budget, then consider the type of house, local area, number of bedrooms and other must-have features.
Be as focused as possible
If you need to find a new home quickly, you must be very focused. Use advanced search filters on property websites to view the homes that meet your specific requirements, and don’t be tempted to look outside of your criteria. By sticking to your budget and must-have features, you won’t be wasting your time viewing houses that you can’t afford or that don’t tick all the boxes.
Set aside two or three days for viewings
The best way to search for houses is by arranging viewings all in one go, so you can directly compare each place and make a decision quickly. If you are able to, take a few days off work and book back-to-back appointments with agents and property developers, making sure you take notes on your smartphone or in a notepad as you go along. When you see a number of different houses over a short space of time, it can be difficult to recall specific features, so ask the agent if you can take photos for future reference.
Signup to mailing lists and alerts
If there’s nothing on the market that suits your budget, you’ll need to be quick off the mark when new homes do come up for sale. You should ask agents to let you know as soon as a suitable house is on the market, while it’s also a good idea to sign up to their mailing lists or get tailored alerts from property websites. Then, as soon as a potential home hits your inbox that looks suitable, simply book a viewing.
Developers also have newsletters which you can sign up to by registering your interest. Also, remember that new developments are also built in phases. So again, make sure you sign up for any newsletters or emails that will alert you when a home you may be interested in is being planned or built.
Get a mortgage in principle
To make sure you’re in a position to move forward as soon as you find a new home that you love, make sure you have a mortgage in principle by going straight to your bank or building society, searching for a deal online, or getting the help of a professional mortgage broker.
If you are buying a new build, the developer can put you in touch with expert mortgage brokers or advisers who are familiar with the development and who can help speed up the buying process. They’ll also be able to look across the market at different lenders to find the best mortgage for you.
If this is your first home or you’re self-employed, finding a mortgage can seem daunting, but it’s still perfectly possible to get a good rate. And given that the number of approved first-time buyer mortgages is growing, you’re more likely than ever to get a home loan.
To stay up-to-date with local property news, discover new homes for sale and research specific areas, it’s well worth installing popular apps on your smartphone such as House Hunter, Mouseprice and Crime Map.