However, before doing this you should make a comprehensive list of what you want (and don’t want) from a home so that you can narrow the field and save time on wild goose chases.
It’s sometimes difficult to compare homes in different areas, as they often vary considerably and few houses are exactly comparable. Properties in the UK range from period terraced, semi-detached and detached houses, to modern townhouses and apartments with all modern conveniences; from dilapidated country mansions and castles requiring complete renovation to luxury modern executive homes and vast penthouses in converted buildings.
You can also buy a plot of land and have an individually designed house built to your own specifications. If, however, after discussing it with your partner, one of you insists on a modern luxury apartment in London and the other a crumbling 18th century castle in Scotland, the best solution may be to get a divorce!
Although property in the UK is expensive compared with many other European countries, the fees associated with the purchase of property are among the lowest in Europe and add around 3 to 5 per cent to the cost.
To reduce the chances of making an expensive error when buying in an unfamiliar region, it’s often prudent to rent a home for a period, taking in the worst part of the year (weather-wise). This allows you to become familiar with the region and weather, and gives you plenty of time to look for a home at your leisure. Wait until you find something you fall head over heels in love with and then think about it for another week or two before rushing headlong to the altar!
It’s sometimes better to miss the ‘opportunity of a lifetime’ than end up with an expensive pile of bricks around your neck. However, don’t dally too long, as good properties at the right price don’t remain on the market for long.
One of the mistakes people make when buying a country property is to buy a house that’s much larger than they need with a large plot of land, simply because it offers such comparatively good value. Orchards, paddocks and large gardens require a lot of upkeep (work) and machinery, which is compounded if you plan on keeping horses or livestock. Don’t, on the other hand, buy a property that’s too small, as extra space can easily be swallowed up.
This article is an extract from Buying, selling & letting property (UK). Click here to get a copy now.