House Buying / House Hunting Tips

Buying a house is a difficult business. Mistakes can so easily be made as what initially impresses may not be the best choice. I've done this a few times now and I can offer some guidance along the lines of what we used to find our current home.

Most of my readers are from the UK, and some of the advice is specific to just Cambridge in the UK. However, most of it applies anywhere in the world. Note that if you're reading this in the Southern Hemisphere you will want to swap around North and South.

It is a good idea to take a notebook and a digital camera with you on house hunting trips so that you can more easily remember what you saw and make more objective comparisons.

Location and orientation

It is often said that location is the most important thing to consider when buying a home. It is worth bearing in mind that while many things can be done to improve the average house once you've bought it, moving it elsewhere is not often an option. You also need to bear in mind the orientation of the house. You can't turn it around at a later date, either.

The House

The second thing to consider is the house itself. You can't do much to change this either, and some houses offer far more potential than others.

Desirable Features

There are many things that add a little to house that depend on how you live. You also have to think about what will appeal if eventually you want to sell your house.

House Selling Tricks

There are many tricks used to present a house as being nicer than it actually is. You need to make sure you see through these tricks.

Dodgy home improvements

I've seen a lot of bizarre home improvements in the time I've been interested in property, including the following:


The Market


I really shouldn't have to mention this, but I will anyway. Please don't make appointments to view properties that you're not interested in, and please keep appointments that you've made. When selling in the past I've had the dubious pleasure of spending time tidying up the house and sitting around waiting for the benefit of viewers who don't turn up at the arranged time (or ever). It is surprising just how rude some people are.

Finally, please give sellers some feedback whether or not the house is right for you. Sellers are always interested to knowing how viewers see their home.

David Hembrow 14th April 2007