When you make that decision to buy your own home, it can be a very daunting prospect. There are so many factors which you could worry about and so many ways the whole process could go wrong. Buying your own home should be one of the happiest days in your life and shouldn’t be the biggest battle you’ve ever had.

We’ve got four tips to help you find the right place for you.

1. Choose your location to match your lifestyle

Before you even start to look for a place, you need to decide on where you want to live. We don’t mean Bristol, Bournemouth or Belfast. What you will want to consider is where in the community you want to live. Are you the sort of person who prefers to be out in the middle of nowhere, with fields and wildlife for neighbours. Or are you more of a city dweller. The type of property you will buy will be completely dictated by this first decision.

2. Decide how long you’re planning to stay

This might seem like a stupid question, but people buy houses for different reasons. If you are looking to set up a family home, you’re looking to stay in the same house for at least 18 years. If you are moving for work, it might be only five before you head on to another home. Five years living with a small garden is not a problem, but eighteen years and two kids, soon make that garden seem even smaller.

3. Have an eye on the maintenance

Some houses will immediately catch your eye. They are the period pieces, the houses with a bit of extra character, a thatched roof or even just a wall covered in Ivy. These are all great to look at and do help to create a stunning home but pause for a second before launching in to buy one of these. Ask yourself and the estate agents about the up-keep and maintenance associated with these homes. Are they listed and therefore restricted on improvements, do you need to have the roof re-thatched every five years. These bills will very quickly mount up and become a nuisance.

4. Know your estate agents

The selection of estate agents around now can be both a good thing and a bad thing. It doesn’t take much to set up shop and then launch a business, but this is really not a good thing in the estate agency world. To counter this, reputation has become king. Search the web about your agents and see what other customers have felt about their service. If they are a first class agency like Borehamwood Estate Agents, then they will have nothing to hide.

These four little steps are designed to take away some of the fear and trepidation you might feel when you start looking to buy your own home. Using the right estate agent, who looks after your best interests, is a great way to start the next phase of your life.