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There’s no doubt that househunting is one of the hardest, as well as the most exciting, things you’ll ever do. It can be stressful, frustrating and at times just plain terrifying, but if you’re searching for a new home, you can make your life easier by avoiding these four common mistakes. You can easily fall prey to one or more of them, so learn to spot these tendencies before you even visit those Canary Wharf estate agents!

You get emotionally attached to the wrong place

This tends to happen to the more inexperienced buyers, although it can strike seasoned ones, too. Once an emotional attachment is made to a property, it can prove very hard to leave it behind. Sometimes, missing out on that special house can haunt you forever and spoil the enjoyment of the house that you do eventually go on to buy and live in.

A good way to avoid this trap is by sticking strictly to your price range. If you stray over it, then you will probably have to let the place go to someone with more money (ouch). You could of course tell yourself that you can afford that extra £15,000, but remember, it’s an extra £15,000 and all the interest it’ll generate over the years.

Being indecisive or taking too long to ponder things

The property market moves pretty fast, so don’t prevaricate over making an offer. If you like a place and you have your finances good to go, make an offer. If you need to, you can always withdraw it, although don’t do this too often. If you tarry, you could lose your ideal house, as well as your buyers, and end up back where you started.

Having too many requirements and being inflexible

Having a huge must-have list, as well as a huge must not-have list makes for very difficult househunting. This inflexibility can prevent you from exploring options that are only slightly out of your optimum range. Look at places that don’t 100% fit the bill and think about how you could close the gap. Maybe it’s a brilliant house but it’s a couple of minutes outside of your ideal area; really, so what? Have a look around the neighbourhood and see if you can get a feel for it and its advantages. You might find somewhere in your ideal area but it lacks a downstairs bathroom – could you convert the big under-stairs cupboard into a wet room?

Being way too over-optimistic

Of course having a can-do, go-getting attitude is a real asset, but when it comes to property, it’s only really useful if you actually can do whatever it is. If you fall in love with a house that’s in an advanced state of disrepair, or needs major building work to make it fit in with your needs, then it might not be possible. Can you spare the time? Do you have the money? Are you likely to get planning permission for the extension?

As hard as it can be, sometimes you simply have to let a place go – there’ll always be somewhere else.




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