Finding your dream home: how to start the property hunt

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If you’re reading this article, it’s probably because you are searching for a property to buy. So, firstly, congratulations – well done for getting this far. You’ve given up a lot to get here. You’ve saved a lot of money.. But, it’s all going to be worth it, isn’t it?  Well, yes. It is. 

But only if you do things right.

Let’s not beat around the bush here: buying property is scary. It’s a lot of money and it’s a lot of commitment. But, if you pick the right property for you, it’s the most worthwhile investment you will make. So, how do you pick the right property? There’s a lot of places out there, how do you know which one is the right home for you

Finding the right area

As the saying goes, it’s all about ‘location, location, location’.Therefore the first step in any property hunt is considering the area that you want to live in. 

Before you even begin looking at properties, think about where you want to live. Your house could be Buckingham Palace, but if it’s in an area that you don’t like, you will end up being a miserable hermit.

There are a few things to consider when deciding on your area. Think about your immediate circumstances and also remember to plan ahead. When looking for the right neighbourhood, create two lists: what you need now and what you might need in the future. 


It may not seem like a deal-breaker, but an easy-commute has huge benefits on your well-being. In fact, a recent Good Move survey revealed that our commutes are harming our mental health. A shocking 73% of 25-34-year-olds said that their commute negatively impacts their stress levels.

So, you need to think about your commute seriously.

 house it’s going to take hours to get to work, would you be willing to sacrifice your time for a nicer property? Does the area have both bus and train links? You’ll need both, as they can often be unpredictable. 

Your life shouldn’t revolve around work and you should also think about your free time. 


Ideally, you want your neighbourhood to be somewhere you enjoy being in. Somewhere to spend your weekends without travelling and somewhere to show off to your friends.

You should look at noticeboards and online groups to get a feel for the community. If you want a close-knit neighbourhood, try to find out if there are regular community events. If you prefer a more solitary lifestyle, these noticeboards will also show if the area will be too full-on for you. 


Being close to the local amenities is also something you need to consider. 

Depending on your lifestyle, a high street of restaurants, bars and shops may be important to you. Likewise, you may want to take a step away from the noise and be somewhere more residential. 

Find out what establishments are in the area. You might think that having a local curry house and a pub is not a deal-breaker. But, you don’t want to end up feeling left out on a limb because you didn’t do your research. 


For parents, their children are their priority. If you have children, or you’re planning on doing so, you should look at schools in the area. Find out what schools are near your property, and what catchment zone you’re in. Take a look at Ofsted to find out how they’re performing and whether you would be happy to let your children attend. 


Now, we don’t want to come across too negatively, but you need to think about crime. It’s a sad fact of life that crime happens, so you need to be aware of the risks in a certain area.

When looking at a specific area, remember to research the crime rates. Even if the property is your dream home, you don’t want to put yourself at risk of being the victim of crime.

To look at an area’s crime rates, check out the Police website. You can search for your local police station and look at the number of crimes committed locally. 

Finding the right property

Estate Agents

They’re often portrayed in a negative light, but it’s time to meet the estate agents

Head into a local branch, introduce yourself and let them know what you’re after. Websites like Right Move and Zoopla are useful, but some homes are sold before they appear online. Getting friendly with a local agent means you may hear about a property as soon as it becomes available.

Tell the agent about the type of property you’re looking for. Let them know your budget and ask them questions about the market. Do your research before you go in and find out what other houses in the area have sold for. 

Knowing how much the average property goes for gives you a bit more power. Take a look at sold-price sites such as – – before you head into the agency. These tools give you a rough idea of what price points you’re dealing with. 

Future Proofing

While this home may be perfect for you right now, what about the future? Are you planning on having a family, or extending the one you already have? Is this a house that you can grow into? Think about storage.

Would it be possible to extend the property if needed? Is there outside storage, like a shed or garage? These might seem like small things, but they can make the world of difference. Your home needs to be practical, not just beautiful.

If everything is in order, it’s time to push for purchase. 

And once you’re settled into your dream home, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about home and contents insurance. buzzvault home insurance is based on what you own, so that you can always be certain that you are covered at the right level. Plus, they are the only home insurance that lets you use video technology to quickly and easily document the things you want covered. So potential claims are dealt with smoothly and hassle-free as you don’t need to provide evidence of what you’ve lost after an incident occurs (additional evidence is required for items exceeding £5,000 in value.) Get a quote in 60 seconds.


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