Once you have decided a few options on the home type, where you want to live and what you can afford, it is time to start searching for that home from either local estate agents or an Internet estate agent.
Start looking early; this will help you get a feel for the relative costs you are looking at.
Once you know what you can afford and in what area, start registering with the local agents to get on their mailing lists and start surfing.
CAUTION: when the market is buoyant, property can sell before the sales details are prepared and before the house is on the web. Additionally not all estate agents have an Internet presence and therefore we suggest that you use all estate agency types to avoid disappointment.
It is generally worth chasing estate agents once a week to ensure you get an early look at new properties on the market. If you do this, the agents will know you are a serious buyer and will generally make the effort to contact you when new properties come up.
The following are methods often used to find a new home:
- Traditional estate agent
- Internet estate agent
- Local newspapers
- Travelling around your desired neighbourhood noting sales boards
- Writing to home owners in the area you want to move to
All five are legitimate methods of finding that new home. Many houses sell without being exposed to the market by an estate agent so a letter may prove worthwhile.
Once you get started, you will probably see a lot of different properties in a fairly short period of time. Keep a record of each one you have visited, together with notes reminding you of its good and bad points.
When you have found the property that you are after then it is the time to get the mortgage finalised and consider what survey you want.