Stop – before you start to look for a home, risk finding one and falling in love with it get yourself ready. Buff up your credit history, talk to a mortgage broker about an offer in principal, about how much you need to save, the costs if interest rates change and how much you might be able to borrow.
Look – There are nearly 800,000 homes for sale in the UK and each month just 80,000 sell so there’s much more choice than you might think. Take your time to look at what’s available, what homes are actually selling for rather than what estate agents are asking so that you are informed when you find the home of your dreams. Check the local area, schools, communication links. You may not commute but the people you want to sell to in time may.
Listen – to your mortgage broker, to your conveyancing lawyer, to a surveyor and to your buying agent if you have one. Listen to neighbours and other agents who will know the house & the area and it’s pro’s and con’s. You are almost certainly not an expert on prices, at negotiating or in property law so take advice before you make the biggest financial commitment of your life.