Buying a home is a big commitment, which is why it pays to be careful and plan ahead. As you start looking for your new property ask yourself what exactly you need from it.
For example, do you want to live in town, in the suburbs, in a village or in the countryside?
What sort of home would you like? A terrace? A detached house? A flat? A bungalow? Would you like to live in a period property or a new build? What are the ‘must haves’ and what are the ‘nice to haves’? How many rooms do you need? Will you want to start a family in your new home?
It’s worth giving some thought to these questions. You could also print out and fill in this table to help you figure out what you want and what you need.
You will often know exactly how you feel as you start looking round a property, but it's important to scratch under the surface and think about the local area as well as the property itself. Don't be afraid to ask yourself, the owner and the estate agent plenty of questions.
It's also worth visiting the area at different times of the day and taking someone with you. They may notice things you miss.
Here's some guidance on the sort of questions you might want to ask and some helpful information on estate agents.