Viewing Properties and Compromise.(27 Posts)
I think we had a rough idea of what we wanted and ended up offering on the opposite (as you do) because we loved the feel of the place! I'm not in the house yet but am hoping I feel the same when it's mine. I keep looking at the pictures of it and feeling good!
I score (out of 10) houses on things like private garden space, easy parking, period features, then skew the results so that the 'best' house wins!
Price sometimes comes into it ......
Yep - I thought I wanted a massive garden but in the end the smaller but completely private garden won! Mainly because we'd just viewed a house with a fairly large garden but overlooked in every single direction. I want to be able to sit in my bikini with my Pimms in the summer!
We had friends who had a checklist when they viewed properties. I could never understand this idea, because for me the house didn't just have to 'tick boxes', it has to appeal to me.
You should have a few things that are non-negotiable, such as price, location, number of bedrooms, and then you have some 'nice to have but not essential', and then 'doesn't really bother me at all'.
Make sure that you agree on what are your non-negotiables, and don't bother looking at houses that don't have these, cause if you then fall in love with the house, you might be tempted to settle for it.
Then go open-minded to view the other houses.
I had a list of 'must haves' and 'nice to haves' when I was househunting. Was also prepared to be flexible and take on some project work...
We had a list of "non-negotiables" - had to be in a certain location, be within budget and have 3 bedrooms and the potential to extend. If you don't have as many must haves, then I anticipate you have more choice and its a question of which house appeals and where you can see your family living. In our situation, there wasn't a huge amount of choice (most properties far too expensive for us).
Similar to pinkje I scored houses on various features, e.g. garden, room size, parking etc. then I did a cost per point comparison
I generally use the internet to line up a number of houses I might be interested in, then spend a day looking at about half a dozen houses. One relocation, I house-hunted over 3 weekends (couldn't afford more time than that) and looked at about 25 houses. After a while, I got the feel of that town's market, and what were deal breakers.
Each time I've rlocaetd I've been lucky in that I've had no chain, and have been paying cash for 60-70% of the price I'm looking at.
I've never had the luxury of time, but when I think about it, it's meant that I see a lot of houses quite quickly and really get clear in my mind the deal breakers in comparisons. Because for me, it's about what I don't want, rather than what I think I DO want, IYSWIM.
That said, I do sometimes wonder how some EAs make their money, when they don't listen to clients. But when I find an agent who listens & the lines up 4 or 5 houses for me to look at in a day, THEN I feel like buying!
first - don't rush this rather important decision. You cannot do too much research.
second - when something of interest comes up, look on the map for anything nearby you don't like. Then visit the outside to check for the things that weren't on the details. Then think about a viewing.
third - you'll know it when you see it!
Have a list of essentials (bedrooms, budget etc) that focuses the viewings. Then go with your heart.
Our current house has one fewer bedroom than we wanted, a miniscule bathroom and 'period' features from every decade of its long existence. But we knew we were going to buy it as soon as we walked in, because of the location, the garden and the elusive feeling of it being home.
Google Earth is your friend when it comes to knowing what's over the garden fence.
We have a list of must haves and nice to haves. We don't rule a house out based on nice to haves but if there are several properties that meet our must haves, we use the nice to haves to prioritise amongst them.
And it has meant that we had to rule out the house of our dreams because it backed onto a busy road - that was a very difficult decision.
It all depends on the area you are looking at. If you are looking at vast swathes of London with a large budget then compromise is not a huge issue. We wanted to live in a particular village, so we really had to compromise. I think generally you just "know" when you have found the right house. We looked for 2 years and only found our house when we looked at one for a similar price and came to view this one to have something to compare to in the same price range. We came out of this house, looked at each other and said "yes?" It didn't match what we thought we wanted, but had plenty of qualities that actually seemed important when we saw it. Looking for 2 years also made us more willing to compromise.
We decided what we really wanted - garage and driveway, three bedrooms, as much living space as possible, space to extend if possible, near transport to town and near shops and most importantly it needed to be close to a good secondary school. We have found exactly what we wanted but our compromise is that it is a bungalow! We are going to extend into.the roof in the future so should end up with a good size house
For us maybe 5 houses a year in the right price bracket appear on the market. Take off those needing too much work, thatched or near a noisy road and you are down to about 2 a year.
Be prepared to be flexible. What you think is your no-compromise 'thing' may not turn out to be that at all if you see 'your' property. For my sins I worked as an estate agent for a bit and the number of people who said "it-absolutely-has-to-be-a-period-house-with-features" and then ended up buying a modern box was unbelievable. And insert other extreme changes from original desire to actual purchase.
Your wish list needs to be flexible. Some things may not be flexible (I couldn't live on a busy road for example), you may need a certain number of bedrooms, but keep it at a minimum and look with a general view at what may suit you.
Look at everything. You will start to narrow down what is important to you.
Try to think for the future, if you have kids, a house in the village might be easier because they can just walk to friends rather than you having to take them.
Also, mine has to have the smile factor, when I come home at the end of a long day, I want to smile because I am home.
Ah, then you have less scope to be fussy if you want a particular location. I find the narrower the location, the larger your willingness to compromise needs to be.
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