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All I want for Christmas... is a new house

Looking to buy a gaff? Start by making a list (and checking it twice).

WHEN YOU’RE IN the market for a new house, there are lots of thing to consider.

Whether you’re looking to buy your first property or you’re planning on moving up the property ladder, just like Santa, you need to make a list.

Here are some of the most important things to think about when you’re in the market for a new house.

Check it once… check it twice.

1. Finances

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First things first, you need to find out your spending power. Before you go dream house shopping, it’s probably best to put some sort of a financial limit on those dreams – just so you don’t fall in love with somewhere you really can’t afford.

Have you been approved for a mortgage? Have you spoken to your bank yet?

Get on it.

2. Savings

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When you buy a house it can often work out to be even more expensive than you realised. Besides the actual purchase of the house, there are all sorts of expenses – from surveyors and solicitors fees to little bits and pieces that the house needs that really add up.

It’s worth speaking to a financial adviser to help you work out exactly how much you can afford and also to put a savings plan in place for both before and after you buy the house.

3. Location, location, location

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Probably the biggest influence of how much your house will cost is where it’s located.

And there is plenty to influence where you live – from proximity to your family and your work to convenience to amenities, schools or universities if you have children, meaning there are a lot of things to consider before slapping down your cash.

4. Transport

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A major consideration, briefly mentioned above, is the proximity of your new home to transport options – whether that’s motorways or public transport.

It would be worth doing a few trial trips from the possible location into work to see how long it takes in rush hour to get door to door.

5. BER rating

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All houses for sale must have a BER rating – and it’s important for you to get as high a BER rating as is possible. It will have major implications over the course of your house’s life.

The main factors that influence the BER rating are your wall, floor and attic insulation, but solar panels and other energy efficient technology will also affect it.

6. Lifestyle

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While your pets, if you have any, might not actually get a say in where you buy your new house, it’s definitely worth bearing them in mind.

Is there a park nearby for them to run around in? Are there nice places for you to walk them?

It could make a big difference in your day to day life with them.

Read: What else could I get for… this €275,000 bungalow in Kilkenny

Also: Take 4: Homes for every budget