Most of us are not surveyors or property developers and so we don't have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to choosing where we are going to live and what is likely to make a good home. For the most part this isn't a problem, but when we come to shop for our next home it certainly can be: how do we know what to look for? And how can we be sure when spending that much that we're making a good decision and a smart investment?

Of course this is where we rely on others to an extent, and it's the job of estate agents and surveyors to help us make the right choice. But still it's helpful to have some idea yourself, and that means thinking about what little you do know and using that to inform your decision. You may not be an expert in real estate, but you have probably lived in real estate at some point in your life and so that alone should give you enough knowledge to at least have some idea.

Here then we will look at how you can take the information from your current or most recent property and use that to help you choose the next one…

Likes and Dislikes

The first thing to think about is what you really liked and what you really didn't like about your last property. Perhaps you will have found that your last place was very big and this was something that you really enjoyed, but that at the same time the ceilings were too high and you wasted a lot of electricity. Knowing this you would know to look for somewhere spacious, but at the same time somewhere with lower ceilings giving you the best of both worlds.


Likewise you should also think about your experiences and things that you encountered while living at your last place. Perhaps for instance you had a broken boiler, or you had to cope with a lot of mould. These sorts of experiences are important learning curves that teach you the warning signs for such problems and that illustrate just how upsetting either can be. With this in mind you can then look for properties that aren't likely to have these problems.

Be aware though when looking for these kinds of problems that your last experience may lead you to look for the wrong thing. For instance: if your last property was very mouldy then you might find yourself adamant that you can't move in somewhere with single glazed windows - when in reality single glazed windows might not necessarily spell a mouldy or cold room and you could end up passing up on a good place to live. Likewise, if you're so focussed on avoiding mould that you don't look at anything else then you may find yourself ignoring other important factors and you'll likely find that you have a whole different problem next time. Take your experiences on board, but don't let them give you blinkered vision.