How to Find Your Ideal Home Have you made the decision to move house? If so, here are 10 steps to help you find the ideal property. 1. Your first step is to make sure you're ready to move. We all have aspirations of living in a bigger, nicer home in better surroundings, but there are good times and bad times for buying. Time it right to get the most value. Also, by thinking about why you want to move, you can start to draw up your criteria. 2. It's a good idea to speak to a mortgage advisor to find out what you can and can't afford. This will help you to determine a budget that will help narrow your search and save you from wasting time. 3. If you have a property to sell, it may be worth doing some research into how much similar properties in your area are going for. Also pay attention to how quickly they sell. This will help you to put your property on the market for a more realistic value and help you understand whether this is a good time to move. 4. Whenever you are buying or selling a property, you'll need to appoint a residential conveyancing solicitor to help walk you through the legal aspects of the move. Find one that has the experience, expertise and personality to make this aspect of the move as simple as possible. 5. Many people looking to move already have a good idea about the place they want to move to. However, if you're yet to decide, it's a good idea to have a little drive round to see what's around. This will help you to get a feel for the nicest areas to live. 6. The areas you shortlist will need to be cross-checked against your criteria. For example, if you have or plan on having children, you'll need to check that the schools nearby are of a high quality. Likewise, if you need to commute, making sure the area is conveniently located for driving or has a good transport system. 7. Once you know the areas you are interested in living, you need to start looking at what properties are on the market. Local estate agents, property websites and magazines could all be worth trawling to see what is available and what fits into your budget. 8. For each property you look at, you'll once again need to cross-check it against your list. Whatever criteria you have, be it in terms of the number of bedrooms, outdoor space, or the size of the kitchen, make sure the properties you're looking at meet or exceed them. If you need to make a sacrifice, weight each of criteria, so you know which are unshakeable and which you might be willing to overlook. 9. Once you've found a property you like, it'll be time to make an offer. The estate agent that listed the property will often be the quickest route to placing an offer and finding out whether it's been accepted. 10. Buying a property is one of the most significant financial decisions you'll ever make, so make sure you let your residential conveyancing solicitor help you with the buying and selling of your property. Once you've reached the stage where an offer has been accepted, they will take you through each necessary step to complete the transaction.