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16th January 2012

Thinking seriously about your New Years’ resolutions you may be one of the many Brits who’ve vowed to find themselves a new home this year. Whether a looking to get on the first rung of the property ladder or make a long awaited move, the time to put your plan into action may have come.

But making the decision is one thing. Finding a suitable property and navigating your way through the minefield of administration is another.

Location, location, location

If you’ve spent a long time renting you’ll know how important the location of your home can be. But your priorities may have changed a little. Where once city centre living was paramount, a move into the suburbs or perhaps the country may have started to appeal.

Now we’re not suggesting a stately manor might be calling, but with the number of new developments in the country it could be an extremely worthwhile option. Often buying a new home in the country will be a cheaper option than buying right in the heart of cities such as London, but you won’t lose anything on the standard of living.

By basing yourself in a new country development you’ll be able to enjoy all that’s associated with a modern home, but with all the benefits of country living. Think increased space, stunning scenery, local produce, and quaint nearby villages.

Look into all your available options
If you’re a first time buyer you may have felt priced out of the property market due to the increased reluctance on the part of lenders and the need to provide a deposit of up to 20% of the value of the property. But there are options available to you.

Proposed Government initiatives like the 95% mortgage scheme will potentially provide assistance if you’re looking for a new home, reducing the need to stump up vast sums for the deposit. If you’re creditworthy, investigating an option such as this may well make your dreams of a new home this year a reality.

Put yourself in the best position
When looking for a new property you need to put yourself in the best position to secure a mortgage. This will involve getting an ‘agreement in principle’ from a lender before you start your property hunt. Not only will this give you an idea of how much you’ll be able to borrow, it will ensure you’ll be taken seriously by the vendor. Property chains can break too easily due to an inability to raise finance – with an agreement in principle you’ll be in the best position to stop this happening.

Being subject to a credit check is an integral part of the lending process and you need to be aware of this and how it could potentially hinder your mortgage application. There are various measures to try and improve your score such as not going overdrawn unless you have a planned overdraft, paying your rent on time and applying for a credit card to demonstrate an ability to borrow money.

This year, your new home could be closer than you think.