We all have a different opinion on what is a dream home. Whether it’s an enormous Georgian home, a cosy cottage, or a chic apartment; it all comes down to what our priorities and styles are. We all dream of a perfect home, and it often feels like just that; a dream. But if you’re serious about it, and really want to make it work, then it is possible.
Unless you’ve recently won the lottery, finding that fabulous house is going to take time, effort and patience. You may have to make sacrifices along the way, but if it were easy then everyone would have it, and it wouldn’t be considered a ‘dream’!
Follow these steps to start your journey towards that property you’ve imagined for all these years:
What’s Your Budget?
The first step for any kind of investment is to sit down and work out what you can afford. There’s no point in setting your hopes on a huge family mansion if it’s going to take you 50 years to save for it. You can achieve a dream home on any budget, but you will need to make sacrifices and compromises.
Start off by going through your finances and deciding how much you have to spend, and how much you can save each month. From that, you can work out how much money you can gather to invest, or how long you will need to save for until you have a substantial amount. Setting yourself monthly and annual targets will help when you’re saving for something big. Breaking it into manageable chunks and goals will make it seem much more realistic and possible.
What Do You Want?
Now you know what your budget is, you can work out what your priorities are and what it is that you want to achieve. Whether it’s with coastal views, a plot of land, or a large open-plan kitchen; you need to write a list of must-haves for this new home. Be realistic within your budget, and look at what you’ll need for the future. If you’re investing in a home you want to live in forever, consider expanding families and any additional plans.
Where Do You Want To Buy?
When you know what you want, you can decide on a location. Think about work and schools, but also buy in as developed area with as good a reputation as possible. Check council websites and online forums, and visit the areas on numerous occasions to check them out. Visiting local shops and venues can also help to determine what the area is like, and when you have narrowed it down then speak to neighbours and people living nearby.
Start From Scratch
If you have the heart and budget for a big project, then building a house yourself can be a hugely fulfilling and exciting task. Financing a self-build can be difficult if you do not have the cash to hand. Some people sell their existing homes, but many need a loan to cover the costs. A self-build mortgage is available at most banks, but you will need to provide more information and paperwork than for a normal mortgage. The bank will want to see plans for the house with budgets and estimated costs. They will also want to know where you’re going to be living, and if you already have a home, you will need both mortgages.
Land can normally be purchased through auctions and estate agents, but make sure you involve architects and builders during this process to ensure the land is right for your plans. The building materials you choose will have a big impact on the costs, with timber and steel frames proving much more cost effective than oak. If you have no experience in building work, you must hire experts and professionals to guide you and complete the work with you.
Prepare yourself for a long and difficult project; that will take over your life and use up all of your finances. But at the end of it, you will have a home made to your exact requirements and wants!
Buy A New Build
Many people are opting for new builds these days, and they are an obviously attractive choice. They benefit from having everything brand new, so you would expect the windows, doors, structural work and fittings to last a while. You won’t have to do a lot of redecorating when you move in, and many developers allow you to choose the final finishings; including the kitchen, flooring, and bathroom fittings. You will be the first people to own the house, and most have good guarantees and warranties on them. New builds range in size and style, so visit show homes and different developers to ensure you choose the right one for you. This could be another long process, as many developers sell the homes so quickly that you need to reserve the plot of land before any building work has begun.
However, there are points to be aware of when considering a new home. Developers can differ in quality and after-care. If some of the homes have already been built, then visit the owners and ask how happy they are with their new homes. Do your research online, and check other sites if yours has only just begun. Expect to be in your home for a good few years before making any money back on it, as like a new car it will initially depreciate in value as soon as you move in.
Buy A Renovation Piece
A compromise would be to buy an older home and do it up. After deciding on your location and specific requirements, speak to local estate agents and get them to add you to their mailing lists for properties of your description. Speak to all the estate agents in the area, and find info about Entwistle Green here, to make sure your search is covering as many aspects as possible.
When viewing the houses try to see them with an open mind, and consider their possibility and potential rather than their current state. When you’ve found a home you like, it’s time to haggle hard. If a home is in more need of repair than another, you can normally get it at a better cost and be able to spend more on it’s renovations. After an offer has been accepted, it is vital to get all the checks and surveys done so you can be aware of issues that will need fixing. If there are large problems, that push your costs too far over budget; then it is perfectly acceptable to pull out. Many issues can be used to barter the price down even more, so they are all worth doing.
Once you’ve moved in, make a plan of how you will convert this new shell into your dream home. Plan each room thoroughly, and get quotes and costs from multiple sources before agreeing to any. When dealing with workmen, get quotes from at least three different companies and check out their reputations and reviews online and with neighbours.
Expect this to be a gradual process, as the work may take a while to complete to your standards.
Do Up What You Have Now
If your budget is low, or you already love the home, you live in, considering making do with what you already have. Renovating your current property would be the most cost effective, as you would already have paid some of the mortgage off. Again, work out a budget and prioritise what you want most from your home. Second story extensions can create more bedrooms, with ground floor suite and conservatories allowing more living area. Many improvements will also add more value to your home, making it more profitable if you do decide to sell later.
You’d be surprised at the difference an extensions or conversion can make to your home, so speak to local interior designers and builders to decide on your options. Think of the future and how long you intend on living in your home, and consider how the local area and community may change. If there is plenty of parking available, then you could consider converting your garage; but if a new school or shopping centre is being built nearby, then you may be grateful for the parking space later on.
Rather than having to take on new financial commitments, you can speak to banks about re-mortgaging your home or taking out smaller loans. There is a lot more flexibility when you only need small loans, as they are not as much of a risk
The benefits of this option are that if you enjoy your area, you will not have to relocate. And you can live in your home as it is being altered and adapted.
So there you have it! You may think that that beautiful dream home is just a fantasy, but it actually it is possible. If you want it badly enough, then never let anyone tell you that something isn’t possible. With hard work and determination, you can achieve anything!