After a valuation of our flat that we are bringing to market soon, looking closely at our finances and having conversations with our current lender and also mortgage brokers, we have quite a good idea of what our budget will be.
Last week we identified some places that are in the catchment area of good schools as advised by Cameron but also Rightmove's school checker. We've been eyeing up each property that comes to market in the area, as well as setting up alerts on our phones so that we are keeping up to date with the latest!
As we have previously discussed, financing the step up from the first home to the next home can in many cases be a challenge, and we are thinking carefully about what sort of property to buy. From our point of view we've identified three main categories: perfect, needs work, or needs complete renovation.
The perfect homes in the locations that we are looking at are such that we could afford a 3 bedroom property with a garden, and most of these tend to be new build homes, or freshly decorated/renovated and brought to market. The attraction is that moving in would be pretty quick, stress free, and we wouldn't have to pick up a paintbrush for a few years!
The category of “needs work” is quite broad, but is basically honest houses that are being lived in. Work needed in most cases would be decorating, perhaps in time updating kitchens or bathrooms, but in general these homes are in liveable condition. In this category we could afford to go semi-detached, or add a bedroom.
Homes that need complete renovation come to the market every once in a while, and tend to be either older properties or ones that have had a tenant living there for many years. These would need in most cases fully redecorating, perhaps windows replacing, flooring replacing, and in general need a substantial amount of work to be liveable. We've decided that this type of property would be too much work for us with full time jobs, and that we won't have the cash available to get the work done by professionals.
This is our thinking, and so we have narrowed our search to 3 or 4 bedroom homes that are in the category of needing work. We think this is likely the type of home we will end up seeing and liking, though we also will remain open to any new builds that Cameron put in front of us!