When purchasing a new home, unless you are having a property custom built from scratch, you will inevitably have to make one or two compromises. That is not to say that you should end up with a property which bears no resemblance whatsoever to what you had in mind but it is important to have already decided what you are and what you are not prepared to compromise on.
Checklist 1: essentials
A good way of quantifying these details is to draw up three lists. The first list will contain everything you consider to be essential to your new home. This might be a garden, a spare bedroom that will be used as an office or good access to public transport.
Only put things that you absolutely need on this list. It might be tempting to fill it with all the things you would prefer to have but you need to take a hard line when choosing the right property for you.
Checklist 2: desires
On the second list put everything that you would like or prefer. These are not deal breakers but simply things that would be nice to have in an ideal world. It might be something like a south facing garden, double garage, open plan kitchen/diner, timber windows or a property within walking distance to a pub.
On this list you can afford to put as many things as you like and it may be these features which help you choose between two different properties of similar specifications and asking prices.
Checklist 3: negatives
On the last list put down everything you definitely don’t want and could not possibly live with. That might be that the property is situated on a main road or close to a school. It could be that the house has substantial work that needs to be carried out on it. Like the first list, do not get too carried away with it by including things that are not vitally important.
Listing these things works much in the same way as a shopping list. You leave home to go to the supermarket with a pretty good idea of what it is you went out for but once you get there it is far too easy to distracted with offers on things you really don’t need.
By physically committing your needs to paper you are helping ingrain them into your mind and this should make it easier to stick to. It may also be worthwhile having a look at properties online – like with online food shopping, it can sometimes be easier to stick to what you’re looking for if you’re not presented with the physical temptation of attractive offers.