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10 Buying mistakes to avoid

On the face of it, searching for your ideal home has never been easier. You can do most of the preliminary spadework online. But if you are not careful, you can find yourself going around in circles and screaming at the computer screen. Here are ten mistakes to avoid if you want the process to be as stress-free as possible.

 

On the face of it, searching for your ideal home has never been easier. You can do most of the preliminary spadework online. But if you are not careful, you can find yourself going around in circles and screaming at the computer screen. Here are ten mistakes to avoid if you want the process to be as stress-free as possible.  

1. Don't waste your energy drooling over properties that are not in your price range. It will only cloud your thinking. Work out how much you can afford to spend and stick to your limit.

2. Don't forget to factor in stamp duty, agents' costs and other extras when setting your price limit. Your search will end in tears if you don't.

3. Don't ignore the impact of marker conditions on property prices. There are times when it is important to move quickly, other times when you can safely dawdle over your choice.

4. Don't search randomly in too wide a geographical area. Think needles and haystacks. It is better to start with your first-choice area, then shift your focus if you draw a blank there.

5. Don't choose or discard an area on first impressions. It is important to be able to imagine what living in a particular property would be like, so that means getting to know the area too. Visit at different times of the day, go to the local pubs and restaurants and see how long it takes to get to the station, all of which can make a difference in deciding if this is the right property for you.

6. Don't automatically start with the biggest property portals. The website of an agent with a good reputation in a particular area might help you focus your search a bit better.

7. Don't take too rigid a view of how many bedrooms you require. A lot of properties have surprisingly flexible accommodation.

8. Don't rely solely on photographs. They are important, but nothing beats a visit to the property. Talk to the owners and the neighbours and speak to the locals in the pub for extra insights, too.

9. Don't assume that, if a property has not sold for three months, say, there has to be something fundamentally wrong with it. There may not be ' and the owner may be amenable to offers. You may pick up a bargain.

10. Don't expect to find a home that ticks all the boxes and is perfect in every respect. There is no such property, but you might get close with a bit of time, research and perseverance.

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