This week I’ve been doing a VERY EXCITING house search that I’ll tell you all about in a future post (I know, I know, it’s mean to tease! I’ll tell all in a couple of weeks, promise). It’s been a little while since I did a home-find, so I guess maybe I’m a little out of practice, but yesterday I got myself a proper case of Rightmove blindness!
I was looking for two similar but distinct options for my clients, and boy did I get my houses in a twist!
Plus there’s the usual “stumble-across-something-that’s-totally-not-what-the-client-wants-but-oh-I-want-it-so-bad” moments that can lose whole hours – case in point, the derelict but oh-so-beautiful house to the left. Sigh.
So anyway, my journey from flit-about magpie back to seasoned house-hunter got me wondering how you guys organise your searches, and whether any of my techniques might be of assistance to you.
Here’s how I would recommend you start your search to help you narrow down hundreds of houses into a serious contender shortlist.
- Write a list of your essential requirements – things you absolutely will not budge on
- Write a list of desirable requirements – things that would be nice to have, but aren’t essential
- And finally, write a list of deal-breakers – things that make a house an immediate ‘no’
- Set your budget range. In this market, I think it’s ok to search 10% above what you can actually afford as some vendors are willing to accept offers below the asking price.
- Start looking! I hit Rightmove first, putting in my main criteria and using the Draw A Search facility if location is really important. If you need help on using Rightmove to search, see my blog post here.
- Use some way of tracking your findings – you can Log In to Rightmove and save properties you like; note the key points of each property on an Excel spreadsheet; use Evernote to clip links, photos and make notes; or good old-fashioned pen and paper will do the trick!
- Have a break. Sleep on it. You’ll probably look at 30 or 40 houses before you start getting confused, but stop when you feel you’re not really sure what you’re looking for any more!
- Look back over the houses you made a note of on your shortlist
- Using your second impressions of these houses, re-evaluate your essential, desirable and deal-breaker criteria. It is almost unheard of to finish a search with the same criteria you started with, and it’s the actual search process that helps you to realise what really is important to you and what you can be flexible on.
- Search again using your new criteria. Rinse and repeat until you find your dream house! It IS out there, but it might not fit your current set of requirements :)
Good luck with your searches! And remember to send me any hideous photos that I can use in my Shocking Shots feature, re-launching soon!