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Guest Blog: First Time Buyers: Think to the Future7th October 2013

Pick a residential property in an up-and-coming area and resale values will rocket with time Photo by Barratt

Congratulations! You’re buying your first home with your partner. When buying a home you want to think long term and not only consider immediate needs. Go bigger and better where affordable, as this will give you stability for years to come whatever life throws at you. Here are a few things to consider when buying your first home together:

Extended Family
So you are a young couple purchasing your first home together, surely the next stage is marriage and then maybe children too? These important life changing moments often take place in the space of a few years so when you pick your property think ahead and be prepared. Make sure you’re both on the same page.

The property may be big enough for you, but you will need space to grow. Add a couple of children and a pet or two, and the space may seem a little cramped. Spare rooms are really flexible and a highly desired element in every home. They can be guest rooms, children’s rooms, play rooms, offices, or walk-in wardrobes, so always aim to get the most space for your money.

Houses may be expensive, but if you can stretch to afford more bedrooms this would be highly beneficial. When you start a family, a one bedroom apartment may be large enough as a baby can share your room but as they grow they will need their own space. When the children are young you will want to keep them close so make sure all bedrooms are on the same floor; as they age you can give them more freedom and put a teenager further away.

If you are planning to have children then you must consider proximity to crèches and schools. You want to be close to work but you don’t want to make a massive detour to reach the best school in the area. How far would your new home be from your parents’ home? Surely Gran and Grandpa will want to come and visit.

You may love the house and the area but what are the neighbours like? This is an important issue if the property is a terraced house or a flat as noise can travel through walls. For example, if you are thinking of starting a family then you probably shouldn’t live next to a student house.

Ask the estate agent questions such as do the neighbours play drums or have large dogs? For most people, daytime noise isn’t important, but do take a stroll past the property late in the evening and see if you can hear anything.

Neighbourhood development
Pick a residential property in an up-and-coming area and resale values will rocket with time. Alternatively if you have a little more to spend, choose to live in a well-established area where competition for property is high. Hammersmith and Islington real estate, along with other locations in and around London, are sure to gain value due to great transport links and their proximity to bankside attractions.

Gardens in cities can be at a premium in city centre locations. Weigh up your needs, but be prepared to pay for outside space. Gardens may be necessary if you have pets and they are a lovely addition for children to play in.

If there isn’t a garden then take a walk around the area and scout out any recreational playing fields or parks. A nearby green space will create clean air and stunning views for any overlooking properties.

Once you’ve pondered these issues and found a house that fits the criteria there is one last thing to decide, does it have the feeling? Can you imagine yourself living there? Take your time and don’t rush the decision. You only move into your first home once so make sure it is perfect. 

About the author

Hugh Grover, founder of Hugh Grover Associates

Hugh Grover is Islington born and bred and has lived there all his life. He started in Estate Agency in 1987 and established Hugh Grover Associates in 1993. He has a deep knowledge of properties within the area and have seen Islington flourish throughout his time on Upper Street. He enjoys the different social structures within the area, meeting new people and promoting the Borough. He is also involved in local charities and has personally instigated and funded the restoration of landmarks such as the Boer War Memorial and the Clock Tower, both in Highbury Fields. He also sponsors local schools.

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