How to choose the right family home

10 April 2023

Purchasing your forever home can be a time-consuming experience. Finding the right property for your family to flourish is often a tricky and emotional process.

Below are our top tips to help you purchase with both your heart and your head.

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Make a list

Be as extravagant as you like at this stage!

What does your absolute dream home offer? From basics like the minimum number of bedrooms, to desired features like a utility room or garage, right up to luxury wants - room for stables or a cinema room perhaps?

Rank everything on your list in order of importance, learning as you go what your compromises could be and what you could live without in the short term, ie. could a property with scope to extend offer a utility room or even Granny-annexe in time? Would a large front garden with scope for future conversion to off-street parking tick the box for now?

Once you’ve whittled the list down you’re ready for the next step.

Budget

Time to get your finances in order and set your budget.

It’s well worth seeking the advice of an independent, whole-of-market Mortgage Broker at this stage. They’ll be able to advise you on rates and mortgage products available to you and help you set a budget that makes your home affordable, including what taxes and fees you might have.

Overstretching yourself with a large mortgage could result in a home that feels like a prison if you’ve not got funds left for treats and holidays.

Including a budget for redecoration and furniture can be useful at this stage too, particularly if you’re buying for the first time or moving to a much bigger home than you’re already in.

Location, location, location

Now you know what you want and how much you’ve got to spend on it, the next consideration is where that home should be.

Often of paramount importance at this stage is school catchment area. Catchment areas for very popular schools can have a huge impact on property prices. Consider how up-to-date this information is, sometimes schools are riding on a reputation that is out of date and expanded class sizes and facilities that are well worn can mean that the school isn’t as desirable as you might think. Speak to parents with children at schools you are considering. Parent Councils are a useful source of information and schools host open days for prospective students where you can visit and meet teachers and pupils. If you’re choosing private schooling make sure you factor the fees in to your property budget.

Next up on the location list is commuting times; how long will it take you to get to work, school and to visit friends and family? What will the cost of this commute in fuel or on public transport be? Moving further afield can be tempting when you can get a lot more house for your money, but consider if the daily grind of a long commute would eat into quality time with family and friends.

concept housing a young family couple. man and woman under fake roof in a new home during relocation

Get viewing

With all these things considered, now is the time to get viewing!

If you have property to sell, get it valued and consider selling first to put yourselves in the best position as buyers and to have a concrete budget in place.

View as many properties as you can, don’t dismiss something on paper or online, bad presentation or poor photographs could be keeping you from seeing the real potential in a property. By visiting yourself you can get a proper feel for a home and see what scope there is to alter the layout or extend if needs be.

Growing

Once you’ve found something you like consider how it will be in 5, 10, or even 20 years’ time.

Will the school catchment still be what you want at secondary level? Are there any proposed changes to catchment area? Do you have space for more children or room for ageing relatives who might need to come and stay? What planning applications are there in the area that might impact how you feel about the house and neighbourhood in the future?

If you would have to move again as your family grows, factor in the cost of legal and estate agency fees and particularly Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, consider if the value of the property might increase enough in time to cover these things.

Speak to your property Solicitor

It is essential to appoint a solicitor with good local knowledge and meet with them face to face at the very outset to discuss your plans.

A good conveyancing solicitor will be able to help and advise you with the steps above, but once you’ve found something to buy, speak to them about their knowledge of the area you’re hoping to buy in and the best strategy for offering and securing the home of your dreams.

It’s always worth putting in an offer if you really do want it, even if you perceive there to be a lot of competition. You never know the position of the other buyers who might be offering too, you might be the best buyer even if your offer isn’t financially the highest.

Finally, as some may say, what’s meant for you won’t pass you by. So don’t get disheartened if your offer isn’t successful, there will be a better property out there for you!

What's next?

Start searching for your dream family home on PSPC today or search for a local solicitor estate agent.

2024

2023

The 2023 Success of Dundee, Angus, and Perthshire's Property Markets 2023-12-28 Jargon Buster: Deeds 2023-10-12 TSPC Jargon Busters: Deposit 2023-10-02 Buying a property in Scotland: The legal process 2023-09-26 Why you should embrace the potential of buying a fixer-upper 2023-09-18 PSPC's Top 10 Most-Viewed Homes in August 2023 2023-09-12 What parents need to know about helping their children to buy a home 2023-09-05 How to add value to your home 2023-07-10 PSPC Jargon Buster: Date of Entry 2023-06-30 What is a Note of Interest? 2023-05-08 PSPC Jargon Buster: Property Chain 2023-04-26 How to choose the right location for your new home 2023-04-25 Prepare your garden to sell before summer 2023-04-21 How to choose the right family home 2023-04-10 PSPC Jargon Buster: Building Survey 2023-03-31 Everything you need to know about selling a property in spring 2023-03-17 Household bills you will pay as a homeowner 2023-03-14 Everything you need to know about an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) 2023-03-09 PSPC Jargon Buster: Asking Price 2023-03-06 How to prepare your home to sell in spring 2023-02-20 Buy-to-let property FAQs 2023-02-16 Tips for living in a small space 2023-02-16 Four three-bedroom homes for sale in Perthshire under £190,000 2023-02-14 PSPC Jargon Buster: Agreement in Principle 2023-02-06 Is it best to sell my home before buying my next property? 2023-01-30 Understanding Your Property's Value 2023-01-24 The Selling Process in Scotland 2023-01-18 Top tips for saving a deposit! 2023-01-09

2022

What do the changes to property tax announced in the Scottish budget mean? 2022-12-19 Using a Home Report When Buying a Property 2022-12-15 Everything you need to know about LBTT before the Scottish Budget 2022-12-01 The Buying Process in Scotland 2022-11-30 A step by step guide to buying a home 2022-11-27 Why you should use a mortgage adviser when buying a property 2022-11-22 Deposit - What does it mean? 2022-11-15 What will be the impact of another interest rates rise on the property market? 2022-11-10 What do solicitor estate agents think of the current economic climate? 2022-10-31 Why is Moving Stressful? 2022-10-26 Selling this Autumn? Here's Our Top Tips! 2022-10-18 What the Recent Changes to Interest Rates Means for the Property Market 2022-10-11 Buying a Property with Potential 2022-10-05 Deciding Whether to Manage your Own Rental Property 2022-09-29 What Rising Interest Rates Mean for the Housing Market 2022-09-23 Buying a Property With a Friend 2022-09-22 How To Make Your Property Stand Out From the Crowd 2022-09-15 What is Conveyancing? 2022-09-04 The Benefits of Dual Occupancy Homes 2022-09-03 The Do's and Don'ts When Viewing a Property 2022-09-03 Getting Ready to Remortgage - Everything You Need to Know 2022-08-22 Conveyancing 2022-08-17 Property Turnoffs and How They Can Affect Your Property's Value 2022-08-10 How Can I Add Value to My Kitchen? 2022-08-05 How Can Buyers Gain an Edge in a Busy Market? 2022-08-04 A Guide to Understanding EPC Certificates 2022-07-26 What To Expect From a Property Valuation 2022-07-22 Speeding Up the Conveyancing Process 2022-07-18 Housing Market Predictions 2022-07-07 How Does an EPC Rating Affect My Mortgage? 2022-07-04 Most Common Property Questions Answered 2022-06-23 Overpaying a Mortgage 2022-06-17 What Happens as a Home Valuation? 2022-06-09 What is a Closing Date? 2022-06-03 Here's What You Need to Know About Downsizing 2022-05-30 What Does 'Property Chain' Mean? 2022-05-26 Why You Need the Right Insurance When Taking Out a Mortgage 2022-05-24 Staging Your Home for Selling 2022-05-17 Buying a House in Cash 2022-05-10 The Selling Process in Scotland 2022-05-05 Strongest Ever Spring Sellers' Market 2022-05-03 How Will the Cost of Living Crisis Affect the Property Market? 2022-04-22 A Guide To Buying a House or Flat in Scotland 2022-04-18 Thinking of Buying an Investment Property? Here's What You Need to Know 2022-04-12 What's Happened to the Property Market Since Covid-19? 2022-04-06 Energy-Saving Tips For Your Home 2022-04-01 Understanding Your Property's Value 2022-03-28 Why It's Best To Sell Your Home Before Buying Your Next Property 2022-03-24 The Differences Between Buying and Selling Property in Scotland and England 2022-03-21 The Differences That Come with Using a Solicitor Estate Agent 2022-03-16 Want To Sell Your Home Fast? Here's Our Top Tips! 2022-03-10 Fixed Rate or Variable - What's the Best Mortgage? 2022-03-08 Building Survey's - What are they? 2022-03-03 Questions every first-time buyer should ask! 2022-03-01 What Is Required for a Successful Mortgage Application? 2022-02-22 Your Offers Been Accepted - What Happens Next? 2022-02-15 Joint Property Ownership - Everything you need to know 2022-02-09 Mortgages in 2022 - What Could Happen? 2022-02-05 4 Tips for Saving a Deposit 2022-02-01 Reminder - The Law on Fire Alarms is Changing 2022-01-25 The 2022 Scottish Property Market - What Will Happen? 2022-01-21 Top Mortgage Tips for First Time Buyers 2022-01-18 What's the difference in using a solicitor estate agent? 2022-01-11

2021

How the Scottish Housing Market has Changed Over the Last 50 Years 2021-12-27 Can I Get a Mortgage Without Permanent Residency? 2021-12-20 Property Conversion - Everything You Need to Know 2021-12-15 Asking Price - Everything You Need to Know 2021-12-06 What is Shared Ownership? 2021-11-24 What You Need To Know About Getting a Mortgage When You're Self-Employed 2021-11-19 So, What Is a Mortgage Agreement in Principle? 2021-11-08 Why You Should Use a Solicitor Estate Agent When Moving House 2021-11-03 Thinking of buying a listed property? Here's what you should know 2021-10-26 Everything You Need to Know About EPC Registers and Certificate Guides 2021-10-25 How much can I afford to borrow? 2021-10-20 Nine Steps to Selling Your Home 2021-10-18 Climbing the Property Ladder 2021-10-11 Fire Alarm Laws are Changing in Scotland 2021-09-27 Research You Should Conduct Before Buying a Property 2021-09-20 The LIFT Scheme and How You Can Use It To Buy a Home 2021-09-17 The Latest Scottish Government Guidance on Property Viewings 2021-09-10 NORMAL SERVICE BEING RESUMED IN A BUOYANT HOMES MARKET 2021-08-31 Should You Refurbish Your Property? 2021-08-18 Preparing Your Home for a Successful Sale 2021-08-13 Mortgage Interest Rates - What are they? 2021-08-09 Helping You Consider the Right Location for Your Next Move 2021-07-26 Tips For First Time Buyers To Help Get Them on the Property Ladder 2021-07-19 Scotland's First Home Fund is Closed, What Other Schemes Can Help First Time Buyers? 2021-07-12 Retirement Interest Only Mortgages - What You Need To Know 2021-07-07 How the UK Mortgage Market Has Changed Due to Coronavirus 2021-06-30 How To Boost Your Mortgage Deposit 2021-06-21 New Rules For Fire and Smoke Alarms in Homes Across Scotland 2021-06-17 Preparing To Put Your House on the Market in 5 Key Steps 2021-06-14 How Much Mortgage Can I Get For My Salary? 2021-06-09 Is Your House Ready to be Sold?: House Selling Checklist 2021-05-31 What is a Mortgage Agreement in Principle? 2021-05-25 All You Need To Know About EPC Registers and Certificates 2021-05-19 Making the Most of House Viewings 2021-05-12 How the Coronavirus Pandemic has Changed the Priorities of Scottish Home Buyers 2021-05-05 Top Tips on Preparing to Buy a House 2021-04-26 What You Need To Know About Overpaying a Mortgage 2021-04-21 Advice on Buying a Property During the Covid-19 Pandemic 2021-04-14 How the UK Mortgage Market Has Changed Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic 2021-04-13 Scotland's First Home Fund: Applications Now Closed 2021-04-09 Scotland's First Home Fund 2021-04-07 Scottish Stamp Duty Holiday: How Did LBTT Change and When Did it End? 2021-04-06 Property Questions Answered 2021-04-02

2020

Perthshire housing market back with a bang 2020-12-10 Digital Guide 2020-05-27

2019

The property market across Scotland - Quarter Two 2019 by SPC Scotland 2019-10-16 LORD PROVOST OPENS NEW-LOOK CENTRE 2019-09-17 The Dundee property market 2019-06-24

2018

Property Repair Seminar 2018-11-20 Free Property Repair Seminar Tuesday 13th November 2018 2018-11-09 The Facts January - September 2018 2018-10-18 Process of buying your property with PSPC 2018-09-11 Land & Buildings Transaction Tax - Help for First Time Buyers 2018-07-19 **Summer** 2018-07-17 A New Look for PSPC 2018-04-18 Followup for Property Repair Seminar 2018-03-26 Property Repair Seminar - Information 2018-03-19 Property Facelift 2018-03-09 Property Repair Seminar - Caring for your Historic Building 2018-03-03 Buyers Event at PSPC 2018-02-24 Moving This Spring? Something Old, Something New 2018-02-07 More on the Help To Buy Buyer's Event 2018-02-06 Help to Buy 2018-01-30 Stats - How was 2017? 2018-01-10

2017

Christmas Opening Hours 2017-12-18 Children's Christmas Colouring In Competition 2017-12-18 Free Valuations 2017-11-22 Countdown to Christmas: never too late to buy or sell! 2017-11-21 Winter Warmer 2017-11-03 Sold 2017-11-01 Three quarter year stats - 2017 2017-10-04 Help to Buy September 2017-09-30 New Digital Guide 2017-09-20 SPC Scotland New Website 2017-09-05 Digital Guide 2017-08-10 Six Month Review 2017-08-02 Reasons to live in Perthshire 2017-08-02 Under Offer 2017-08-01 June stats 2017-07-03 Chunky facts 2017-06-27 May sales 2017-06-02 First Quarter Stats 2017-03-31 Hospital Radio Quiz Night 2017-03-23 Help to Buy Event 2017-03-08 property: Perth top of Scots table with 27% gain, with Dundee close behind 2017-03-08

2016

Welcome Message Guide Issue 1477 8/12/2016 2016-12-07 PSPC Guide Competition 2016-12-07 Competition Time 2016-12-05 Social Media 2016-11-30 Black Friday 10% Voucher Deal 2016-11-25 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1476 17/11/2016 2016-11-17 Winter Warmer 2016-11-17 Thank You 2016-10-31 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1475 27/10/2016 2016-10-26 Help To Buy Event 29th October 2016 2016-10-25 Help to Buy Event 2016-10-25 Stability Remains the Theme 2016-10-06 Help to Buy Event at PSPC 2016-09-30 Need a little help getting on the property ladder?? 2016-09-22 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1473 15/09/2016 2016-09-14 August Sales/Under Offers 2016-09-01 August stats 2016-09-01 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1472 25/08/2016 2016-08-26 Local Market -v- National Trends 2016-08-26 Staff Position 2016-07-22 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1470 14/07/2016 2016-07-13 First Half of 2016 Sees £50M+ Property Sales 2016-07-01 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1469 23/06/2016 2016-06-23 Summer Storage Solutions 2016-06-23 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1468 02/06/2016 2016-06-02 Taxing Times 2016-06-02 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1467 12/05/2016 2016-05-11 A First Time for Everything 2016-05-11 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1466 21/04/2016 2016-04-21 Property Market Spring Forwards 2016-04-21 PSPC Guides 2016-04-14 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1465 30/03/2016 2016-03-30 Blooming Marvellous 2016-03-30 Sounding Out Perthshire's Legal Talent 2016-03-30 ‘Perfect storm’ in property market 2016-03-24 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1464 10/03/2016 2016-03-09 Selling Up? Clear Up! 2016-03-09 Help to Buy and Lift Scheme FREE Mortgage Advice 2016-03-04 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1463 25/02/2016 2016-02-24 Financial Help for Perthshire Househunters 2016-02-24 Under Offers 2016-02-17 Welcome Message Guide Issue 1462 11/02/2016 2016-02-10 Help to Buy = Help you Move! 2016-02-10 Help to Buy Event 2016!! 2016-02-05 Welcome to the latest edition of PSPC's Guide 28/01/2016 2016-01-29 Why PSPC? 2016-01-29 First Guide of 2016 2016-01-13 Moving On Up in 2016 2016-01-13 Stats 2016-01-12

2015

The Last of 2015 2015-12-10 PSPC Festive Opening Hours 2015-11-25 PSPC Festive Opening Hours for Saturdays 2015-11-25 Busy time for PSPC with Under Offers 2015-11-18 Its Never to Late 2015-11-09 Selling the Outside 2015-10-28 Perthshire Property Market 'Turns a Corner' 2015-10-15 Independent Financial Advice 2015-10-12 Turning Over a new leaf this Autumn 2015-10-01 Your most popular questions answered about Title Deeds 2015-10-01 Chairman's Report 2015-09-22 Properties 2015-08-01 Under Offers - July 2015-07-31 Under Offer 2015-07-22 January - June 2015 2015-07-02 Buying to Let 2015-06-12 Storage Problems? 2015-05-20 Sellers Event 2015-04-30 Spring Sales Review 2015-04-16 The Changing Face of Pensions 2015-04-14 Easter Weekend 2015-04-03 Help to Buy Day 2015-03-23 Help to buy Made Easy! 2015-03-17 Money DOES Matter! 2015-03-10 Moving on up in 2015 2015-03-10 Taxing Times 2015-03-10 And Relax.... 2015-03-10 Guidance on Stamp Duty 2015-03-10 Further update to Stamp Duty 2015-02-06 All change again for Stamp Duty 2015-01-05 Moving on up in 2015 2015-01-05

2014

November figures 2014-12-17 Staff Vacancy 2014-10-20 Taxing Times 2014-10-14 Stats 2014-10-14 September Stats 2014-10-02 Pitlochry Highland Games 2014-09-25 Pitlochry Highland Games 2014-09-12 Aberfeldy Show 2014-08-07 Half Year Stats 2014-07-09 Scotland's Housing Market 2014-06-04 Help to Buy 2014-06-03 Monday Bank Holiday 2014-05-23 Help To Buy Event 2014-05-16

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