March 07, 2011

Buying a House 'Part 1': The dreaded 'b' word

We have had quite a few clients in the past who have asked us to come 'property shopping' with them and quite a few more who have asked us to look at floor plans.  The reasoning behind this is that a house will, most likely, be your most expensive purchase and that once bought you will have to work around all of its nooks, crannies and personality.  What do I mean by this?  Every house has a downside - perhaps the huge living room doesn't get enough light, perhaps the cosy guest bedroom is a little cold.  The key is to ensure that whatever downsides a house has affect the owner's life as minimally as possible.  For example, a drafty bedroom that is only used by your grumpy old Aunt is a downside that one can easily live with!

The 'b word'?  Budget of course!  Now the estate agent will want you to spend as much as the bank will allow you to borrow in order to heighten their commission but beware, you do not want to spend all of your money on the shell and leave yourself with no money with which to furnish it.  There is no exact percentage of the price of the house that one should necessarily spend on its interior but, it goes without saying, a home is defined by what is inside it.  Therefore, the 1st step towards having a beautiful home is the ability to set yourself a budget which allows for subsequent home improvements - as obvious as this 1st step may appear to be I have many personal experiences of it not being abided by and this being the situation a year after purchase:

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