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How Do I Find the Right Home

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Finding the perfect home is an exciting and significant milestone in anyone’s life. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or looking to upgrade to a new space, the process of finding the right home can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. 

With countless options available and various factors to consider, it’s crucial to approach your search with a well-defined plan and a clear understanding of your needs and preferences. In this guide, we will walk you through the essential steps to help you navigate the journey of finding your dream home. 

From defining your requirements and setting a budget to researching neighbourhoods, engaging professionals, and evaluating properties, we will provide you with tips to ensure that you find the perfect home that suits your lifestyle, preferences, and financial goals. 

Define Your Needs and Preferences

Defining your needs and preferences is a crucial first step in finding the right home. By creating a comprehensive list of your must-haves and nice-to-haves, you can narrow down your search and focus on properties that align with your specific requirements.

Start by considering the location. Determine the neighbourhoods or areas that suit your lifestyle and meet your practical needs. Think about factors such as proximity to your workplace, schools, transportation, shopping centres, and recreational facilities.

Esteem Homes have developments in multiple beautiful areas.

In Barrow:


In Liverpool:


In Manchester:


Next, think about the size of the home that suits your needs. Consider the number of bedrooms and bathrooms required to accommodate your family or lifestyle comfortably. If you have specific space requirements, such as a home office, a guest room, or a dedicated play area, make sure to include those on your list.

The layout of the home is another important aspect to consider. Determine if you prefer an open floor plan that promotes a sense of spaciousness and facilitates easy flow between rooms, or if you prefer more defined spaces for privacy and functionality. 

As you create your list, remember to differentiate between must-haves and nice-to-haves. Must-haves are non-negotiable features that your new home must possess, while nice-to-haves are desirable but not essential. This will help you prioritise your needs and make more informed decisions during your home search.

Determine Your Budget

Determining your budget is a critical step in the home-buying process. By assessing your financial situation and understanding how much you can afford to spend on a home, you can set realistic expectations and streamline your search to homes that fit within your price range.

Start by evaluating your income and financial resources. Calculate your monthly income, taking into account all reliable sources of earnings. You can use our mortgage calculator to get a rough idea of the costs. Consider any potential changes to your income in the near future, such as job promotions or career advancements.

Take into account your monthly bills, including utilities, insurance, transportation costs, and any outstanding debts or loans. Factor in your lifestyle expenses, such as groceries, entertainment, and savings goals. This will give you a clear picture of your current financial obligations and the amount of disposable income available for homeownership.

As a general guideline, financial experts recommend that your monthly housing expenses, including mortgage payments, property taxes, insurance, and maintenance fees, should not exceed 30% to 40% of your monthly income.

Consider reaching out to a mortgage lender or financial advisor to explore mortgage types and get pre-approved for a loan. This will give you a more accurate understanding of your borrowing capacity and the price range of homes you can afford.

Remember to account for additional costs associated with buying a home, such as closing costs, inspection fees, and potential renovation or furnishing expenses. It’s important to have a contingency fund in place to cover unexpected costs that may arise during the home-buying process or after you move in.

Research the Area

Consider the proximity of the neighbourhood to amenities that are important to you. Evaluate the availability of schools, parks, shopping centres, restaurants, healthcare facilities, and recreational areas. Assess the quality and reputation of the local schools if you have children or plan to start a family. Also, take into account the commuting distance to your workplace and the accessibility of public transportation options.

Take the time to visit different areas and explore them in person. Walk or drive around the neighbourhood to get a sense of its atmosphere, observe the condition of the properties, and interact with local residents if possible. This will give you a better understanding of the community vibe and whether it aligns with your preferences.

Pay attention to the overall cleanliness and upkeep of the neighbourhood. Look for signs of pride and investment from residents, such as well-maintained properties, landscaped gardens, and community initiatives. These indicators can reflect the level of community engagement and the overall sense of pride in the neighbourhood.

Search for Online Listings

Esteem Homes’ website, newspapers, and local real estate agencies are valuable tools that can provide you with a wide range of property listings to explore.

Start by utilising online real estate platforms, such as real estate websites and mobile apps, which offer comprehensive databases of available properties. These platforms allow you to refine your search based on specific criteria, such as location, price range, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and other features that are important to you.

You can easily use our property search function to see our houses in any area.

Newspapers and real estate magazines are another traditional yet effective way to search for properties. Many publications feature real estate listings in their classified sections or dedicated property listings. This can be especially helpful if you prefer a more tangible and offline approach to your search. Take the time to review the listings carefully, noting key details and contact information for properties that pique your interest.

As you browse through property listings, thoroughly review the details, photos, and descriptions provided. Pay attention to essential information such as property size, layout, condition, amenities, and any unique features. Evaluate whether the property aligns with your needs, preferences, and budget. Take note of any properties that stand out and seem promising for further consideration.

Visit Properties

Visiting properties is an important step in the home-buying process as it allows you to physically experience the homes that have captured your interest. While property listings and online research provide valuable information, visiting properties in person gives you the opportunity to see the details, gauge the atmosphere, and truly assess their suitability for your needs. Here are some key points to consider when visiting properties:

  1. Schedule appointments: Contact the listing agent or owner to schedule appointments for property viewings. It’s important to allocate enough time for each visit to thoroughly explore and evaluate the property. Take into account the location, travel time, and any other logistical considerations.
  2. Assess the condition: During your visit, pay close attention to the overall condition of the property. Look for signs of wear and tear, water damage, or structural issues. Evaluate the quality of construction and any recent renovations. Note any repairs or maintenance that may be required and consider the potential cost and effort involved. Esteem Homes follows the Consumer Code.
  3. Evaluate the layout: Walk through each room and assess the layout. Consider the flow and functionality of the space, imagining how it would fit your lifestyle and accommodate your needs. Take note of the size and configuration of the rooms, as well as the availability of storage options.
  4. Consider natural lighting and ventilation: Observe the amount of natural light entering the property and assess the ventilation. Adequate natural light and good airflow can enhance the comfort and ambiance of a home. Take note of windows, skylights, or any other architectural features that contribute to the brightness and airiness of the space.
  5. Take note of amenities and features: Evaluate the amenities and features offered by the property. Consider aspects such as the presence of a backyard, balcony, or patio, the availability of parking spaces, and the condition of any included appliances or fixtures. Assess whether these features align with your preferences and requirements.
  6. Take photos and notes: It can be helpful to take photos and notes during your property visits. Document important details, specific features, or any concerns you may have. These visual and written records will aid in your decision-making process when comparing properties later on.
  7. Visit multiple properties: It’s recommended to visit multiple properties to gain a better perspective and make informed comparisons. Seeing different homes will help you refine your preferences and priorities.

Work with a Real Estate Agent

A reputable and experienced agent brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise about the local real estate market, making the entire process smoother and more efficient.

One of the primary benefits of working with a real estate agent is their deep understanding of the local market conditions. They stay up-to-date with the latest trends, pricing, and inventory in the area you are interested in. This knowledge allows them to provide valuable insights and help you make informed decisions. They can analyse market data, assess comparable properties, and advise you on the fair market value of homes you are considering.

A skilled real estate agent will take the time to understand your needs, preferences, and budget. They will listen to your requirements and help you prioritise them, ensuring that the properties they present to you align with your criteria. With their extensive network and access to multiple listing services (MLS), agents can identify properties that may not be readily available to the general public, giving you a broader range of options to choose from.

Real estate agents have experience in negotiating and can act as your advocate during the buying process. They are skilled in handling negotiations with sellers, helping you secure the best possible price and terms for the property. Their expertise in navigating contract details, contingencies, and paperwork ensures that your interests are protected throughout the transaction.

When selecting a real estate agent, it’s important to choose someone who is reputable, trustworthy, and has a good track record in the local market. Seek recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues who have had positive experiences with agents in the area. Conduct interviews with potential agents to assess their knowledge, communication style, and willingness to understand your specific requirements.

Evaluate and Compare Properties

Once you have visited multiple properties, it’s time to evaluate and compare them to determine which ones best align with your needs and preferences. This step is crucial in the home-buying process as it allows you to make an informed decision. Here are some key points to consider when evaluating and comparing properties:


Assess the locations of the properties and consider factors such as proximity to your workplace, schools, amenities, and transportation options. Evaluate the neighbourhood’s safety, ambiance, and long-term potential for growth or development. Determine if the location aligns with your lifestyle and future plans.


Review the prices of the properties and evaluate their affordability in relation to your budget. Consider any additional costs associated with each property, such as property taxes, homeowner association fees, and potential renovation or repair expenses. Determine if the price is reasonable based on the property’s size, condition, location, and market value.

Size and Layout

Compare the sizes and layouts of the properties. Consider the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the square footage, and the overall floor plan. Assess how well the layout accommodates your needs and preferences, including space for living, entertaining, and potential future growth. Determine if the size and layout provide the functionality and flexibility you desire.


Evaluate the condition of each property based on your observations during the visits. Consider any repairs, renovations, or maintenance that may be required in the short or long term. Assess the quality of construction and the durability of the materials used. Determine if the condition of the property meets your standards and if any potential issues align with your willingness to invest time and money in maintenance or improvements.

Amenities and Features

Compare the amenities and features offered by each property. Consider factors such as outdoor spaces, parking availability, storage options, and any additional facilities or services. Evaluate how well these amenities align with your lifestyle and enhance your comfort and convenience.

Prioritise Your Criteria

Rank your criteria based on their importance to you. Determine which factors are non-negotiable and which ones you are more flexible about. This will help you prioritise your preferences and make informed decisions when comparing properties.

Seek Expert Advice

Consult with your real estate agent or seek advice from professionals in the field. They can provide insights, market analysis, and guidance based on their expertise and experience. They can also help you understand any legal or financial implications associated with each property.

Get a Professional Inspection

Once you have identified a potential home that meets your criteria and preferences, it is highly recommended to get a professional inspection before finalising your decision. 

Hiring a professional home inspector is a crucial step in the home-buying process, as it provides you with an objective assessment of the property’s condition. Here’s why getting a professional inspection is important:

  1. Uncover hidden issues: A professional home inspector is trained to identify potential issues that may not be apparent to an untrained eye. They have the expertise to detect hidden problems such as structural issues, electrical and plumbing problems, pest infestations, mould or moisture damage, and other hidden defects that could be costly to repair. 
  2. Evaluate safety concerns: The safety of the property is of utmost importance. A professional home inspection can help identify any safety hazards or concerns, such as faulty wiring, outdated electrical systems, inadequate ventilation, or fire hazards.
  3. Assess the property’s overall condition: A thorough inspection provides a comprehensive assessment of the property’s overall condition. The inspector will evaluate the quality of construction, the integrity of the structure, the condition of the roof, windows, and doors, as well as the functionality of major systems such as heating, cooling, and plumbing. 
  4. Negotiating power: If the inspection reveals significant issues or necessary repairs, it can give you leverage in negotiating the purchase price or requesting repairs from the seller. The inspection report provides tangible evidence of the property’s condition and can be used as a basis for renegotiating terms or requesting necessary repairs before closing the deal.
  5. Peace of mind: A professional home inspection provides peace of mind. It helps you avoid potential surprises or unexpected expenses down the line. By having a clear understanding of the property’s condition, you can move forward with confidence, knowing that you have done your due diligence.

Trust Your Instincts

It’s crucial to trust your instincts and intuition. While practical factors like location and price are important, listening to your gut feelings can provide valuable insights. Your emotional connection to a property matters, as it’s where you’ll create memories and find comfort. If a home immediately resonates with you, evoking feelings of warmth and excitement, it may be a strong indication that it’s the right choice.

Trusting your instincts also helps assess personal fit. Each individual or family has unique needs and preferences, and your instincts can guide you in evaluating whether a home aligns with your lifestyle. Pay attention to the layout, functionality, and flow of the space. If you can envision yourself living and thriving there, it’s a positive sign that the property suits your personality and daily routines.

While practical considerations are essential, trusting your instincts is equally important. Your emotional connection, personal fit, and intuitive assessment can guide you towards a home that feels right. By honouring your feelings and listening to your inner voice, you’ll navigate the home-buying process with clarity and confidence, ultimately finding a home that is truly the perfect fit for you.

Richard - Property Investor

Richard is a seasoned property investor with a keen eye for lucrative opportunities. With years of experience in the real estate market, he excels in identifying properties with high potential for growth and returns.