‘Fleeing the nest’. It’s an exciting time, the thought of finally living alone with space and independence. Buying your first home is much like buying your first car. You can’t wait to do it, but you need to know what you’re looking at and not just go for the shiniest, most expensive option!

Whether you are looking to buy or rent, there are some rules of thumb you should follow. Small guidelines that will help you make a smart move that will benefit you for years to come, and save you a lot of money in the process! Here is our guide for moving into your first home.

Renting Your First Property

Tenant enquiries rose by 60% in London in 2022 while the number of homes available to let fell by 38% in July alone. If you’re not going through the right agent, then it is increasingly difficult to rent a property in London. This being said, it shouldn’t mean you jump into the first rental you find.

Even if you don’t see a rental as your forever home, there are still some important decisions to make before you start scrolling through the property portals.

Firstly, what is your budget? Many people make the mistake of paying rent they can ‘just about afford if they’re careful’. You don’t want to be sat in your home all the time with the heating off to save money. You want to have the ability to eat out and see friends. More importantly, you want to have money left over to save for a deposit, if buying a home is on your agenda.

Be cautious with your budget and leave yourself a little extra. You might want to live in the centre of London, but are there any cost-effective rentals that are a 10-minute tube ride away? You might want a garden, but can you go without one if you’re planning to move in the next two years?

Buying Your First Property

When buying your first home, think about the long term. It’s great buying a two-bed property because it’s cheaper than a three-bed, but is that a good idea if you’re planning on having two children in the next four years? An apartment close to the centre is great, but are you planning on passing your driving test? If so, what is the parking situation like?

You need to think of the nuances of living somewhere. It’s little things, like will you get tired of carrying the shopping up the stairs of an apartment complex, or will you get tired of not having a garden in those warm summer months?

We recommend writing down a list of wants and needs. What do you want from a home, and what is a non-negotiable? Now, do this list again, but pretend you are five years ahead of where you are now. Is there anything missing from the first list that you will need when you get older, progress in your career and are living a different lifestyle?

This exercise will give you an idea of what you’re looking for before you start viewing houses. Our final piece of advice is to save enough money to buy a house you’ll love for years to come. Don’t let the excitement of being on the property ladder force you into a buying position you’ll regret in a few years.

Helping You Make Those Important Moves

We’re more than an estate agency. We’re your valued partner who is here to help and advise you when it comes to making the most important move of your life; the move into your new home.

View our selection of properties available to buy or rent by clicking here. Alternatively, if you’re looking to sell your property for the best price at the right speed, book your free valuation by clicking here.