As the saying goes, location, location, location is one of the main things to consider when you're looking for a new home.
In Suffolk, there are some lovely towns and villages to choose between, so you will need to decide if you are looking for a house to rent in Haverhill or a bungalow in Bury St Edmunds? Or a flat on the market in Stoke by Nayland or a maisonette in Ipswich.
It will be important to consider what you're looking for in the location you choose. Are you happiest in the countryside or a town? Is public transport important to you? If you have children, one of the most important factors will undoubtedly be what the nurseries and schools are like in the vicinity.
You might also like to research amenities like shops and public facilities such as swimming pools and libraries, particularly if you are looking to live in your new home for many years.
It's also important to look into how much council tax might cost in your new property - it's worth giving the local council a call or checking out their website to see what the average rates are - your dream home might become a nightmare if your bills are too high!
Once you've decided where you'd like to live, you will want to sign up to lots of property websites which can send you alerts when a house or flat becomes available. When renting, you can also consider sites like Gumtree, especially if you are willing to houseshare.
You'll be familiar with the weekly property supplements run by local newspapers - grab your copy early on the day they come out to ensure you don't miss out on the perfect home.
You should also register with lots of local estate agents who will be happy to show you all the properties on their books and let you know if anything new comes on the market.
Soon you will be arranging appointments at your potential dream home - so what should you look out for?
One of the first things to be aware of is that appearances can be deceptive. If you are put off a room because of the decoration, try to see beyond the ugly carpets or dated wallpaper and envisage how you would decorate it to your taste. A little bit of visualisation can go a long way, so try not to be put off by aesthetics.
Also remember that with properties for sale, once your name is on the deeds you'll be free to change room layouts - so if you'd rather have an open plan kitchen and dining area than two separate rooms you can make these changes once you're the owner. Of course, any external work might be subject to planning permission so make sure you do your homework before making any major changes.
If you don't yet have children, it might be worth considering whether the property would be suitable if there is the pitter patter of tiny feet in the future. A one bedroom flat might be perfect for you and your partner now, but if you have children in the future you'll find yourself a little squashed for space!
Try to see the property both in the daytime and once night has fallen, as this can give you a very different perspective - and allow you to discover if there are any evening noise issues. Speak to the current owner/tenant about their neighbours - while they might be hesitant to be completely honest (they want to move out, after all!) you might be able to glean some important information.
You might find that you fall in love with a property immediately - while it's great when you get a vibe about a potential new home, be careful not to let your heart rule your head. Perhaps invite a friend or relative along who'll give you an impartial point of view and ask questions that might not occur to you.
If you do all your homework before signing on the dotted line, you'll be much more likely to find the perfect home for you - good luck with your search!
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