When you start looking for a new home, it quickly becomes apparent just how many things you need to think about. Whether you’re renting or buying, looking for a new home is a big deal and takes a lot of investment — in both time and money.
Even if you find somewhere that looks good or even amazing, how to do you know this is the place of your dreams, and won’t end up being a nightmare? Well, here are ten tips for happier house hunting in Sydney (or anywhere else!)
1. Location, location, location
Where you live has a huge impact on your quality of life, and overall happiness levels depending on your needs. If you have kids, are there good schools nearby? How about parks and safety levels? Do you like things quiet? Or, if you’re looking for somewhere near the excitement of a nearby urban centre, have a think about available transport links.
2. Size matters when you are house hunting
Of course, budget will have an impact on the size of your new home, but do think about whether there’s enough space for your needs, and how many people will be living there.
Also, consider your existing furniture. Would everything fit into the existing rooms? Is your sofa too big for the lounge? How about those drawers? Does the bedroom have space for them? We definitely recommend measuring the dimensions of your furniture before viewing properties.
3. State of repair of the potential new home
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the overall state of repair of the property. How old is the boiler? Are the pipes and electrics functioning OK? Take a closer look at things such as doors, skirting boards, cupboards and units to see how much wear and tear things have. Also, have a good look for mould (especially in bathrooms and bedrooms) to see just how much TLC the property has actually had.
4. Storage wars
No matter how minimalist you are, you’re always going to need storage space. Things like tools, Christmas decorations, old books, spare sheets and towels, mementos, suitcases, hobbies and so on. Hunt for cupboards, shelves, attics, basements, sheds and explore whether it’ll all be enough for when you move in, and when you get new things in the future.
5. Room for improvement
Explore the kitchens and the bathrooms. Try to picture yourself using these rooms every day and what kinds of things might annoy you in the time to come. Are you a keen chef? Is there enough space for appliances? How about those surfaces…are they going to be a pain to clean? The same approach goes for bathrooms. Is the shower good enough? Decent water pressure? Is there a bathtub, or is the sink too small? How about the number of toilets in the property?
Do you have your own furniture, starting fresh, or combining the two? Make sure you know what will (and won’t be) included in the new property. For instance, essentials such as washing machines, beds, fridge/freezers and wardrobes.
7. Outdoor spaces
Is the outside space enough for your preferences? If you’re a keen gardener, you’ll want to make sure that you’ll get the green canvas you need for your plants. Is there enough space outside the front door, or are you right next to the road? Also, what about parking spaces and overall cleanliness? Does everything look nice from the outside, or are tiles cracked or dirty?
8. Natural light
When house hunting, don’t underestimate the number of windows in the new property. Natural light is essential for your feeling of the space and by extension your overall mood. You don’t want to be in a home where electric lights are your only option, making you feel like you’re in a box. Think big windows, French doors and skylights.
9. Keep score
With so many things to balance and consider in your move, keep track of everything you want to consider (like the points in this article) and make notes along the way. You can even score certain elements, such as the location, cleanliness, facilities and so on to help give you a more balanced view of the home as a whole.
10. Go with your gut
Although this is a little harder to quantify, you’ll be able to tell pretty quickly whether or not a property could be your new home. Sometimes, you’ll see a place, walk in, and feel that spark. You’ll already know where to put your things and can totally imagine yourself living there. But remember to trust your instincts. No matter how good a place might feel, remember to look at things a little closer and find any fatal flaws.
So, there’s plenty for you to think about when looking for your new pad. Good luck out there. If you do manage to find The One, take a quick look at our article on things you’ll to need to buy when moving for the first time. Trust us; it’ll come in handy. And, when you’re ready to make your big move, let us help you out. Just fill out our simple, instant moving quote form, and we can get started.