Advice on choosing a home in Northern Ireland


Choosing a home is a difficult decision. For many of us, a property is the most expensive purchase we will make in our lifetime. It takes significant time, effort and money to buy a property and it cannot be easily reversed if you make the wrong decision.

Therefore, it is important to consider the following factors when buying a property:

What house can you afford?

When you begin to look for a property, whether it is your first home or your forever home, it is important to know your budget. It can be beneficial to get a mortgage in principle which will highlight how much you are able to borrow from your lender. However, it is important to remember that this is offered in principle and does not guarantee an official mortgage offer.

Once you have your mortgage in principle, you can begin to see the different properties and areas that are within your budget. Do remember that you will have rates to pay, along with your monthly bills and insurance. put together an ultimate guide to the costs involved in buying a house which explains the different costs that you will need to factor into your budget when purchasing a property.

The location of a property

Location is a major decision that must be made when choosing a home. It is important to remember that the interior of a home can be adjusted to suit your taste, however you cannot move a property to a different location.

There are a number of things to keep in mind when choosing a place to reside:

  • Commuting distance from work
  • Crime statistics of the area
  • Are there local amenities nearby?
  • Are there leisure facilities nearby?
  • Proximity to friends and family

Top tips for checking out an area

  • Speak with the neighbours to get a feel for the neighbourhood.
  • Visit the area at different times of the day and jot down the advantages and disadvantages.
  • Set up email alerts on to see new homes that are added to your preferred location.
  • Speak with the different estate agents in your desired area and leave your name along with your contact details. If they have any listings that fit your criteria, they will be in contact with you.

The ‘My Important Places‘ feature on will allow you to highlight the places and locations that mean the most to you. We will then automatically calculate the distance from every property on to your important places. A quick and easy way to stay close to school, work, friends and family!

Old or new home

Many homebuyers like the character and charm of a period home whilst others prefer the spacious and contemporary interiors in a modern home. Many properties on offer virtual tours, allowing you to view a listing via your digital device. Once you have narrowed down your favourites, you can book a physical viewing and see which type of property appeals to you more.

While a newer property requires less maintenance or repairs, you may have to pay upfront charges for garden creation and builders extras. On the other hand, repairs and renovations to older properties may also need to be factored in when creating a budget.

What type of house do you want

From apartments to townhouses, detached to semi-detached, there are a number of different property types to consider when choosing a home. When you have decided on the area you would like to live in, you can use the search functionality on to see what type of houses are available in the area you wish to reside.

It can also be useful to think of what you would like to achieve in the next couple of years. Are you hoping to grow your family? It may be beneficial to search for a property with extra bedrooms and a private outdoor garden space. If you are working from home for the foreseeable future, an office space may come in handy.

Are you ready to begin the search for your dream home?

For more advice on buying a property in Northern Ireland click here.