It is the beginning of a new year and it may be “your year” to begin finding your dream home. Once, you get mortgage approval and know your budget the possibilities are endless. However, this is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make, so you should do a few things ahead of house hunting and we have listed them here to make the process as easy as possible for you.

Think location- The first thing you need to consider when you are buying a new home is where you would want to live for potentially, the rest of your life. This may come easily to you but for others, who may have a partner from a different town or county this is an extremely difficult decision. You may have to meet each other half way and reach an amicable middle ground.

Consider your budget- Let’s be honest we all would love a house that deserves a place on “Ireland’s best home” list but that isn’t feasible for most. Once you decide on a location that will directly impact the price of a potential home. Do your homework on recent prices for homes in the area and consider what your options are.

Make a loose plan and a “wish list”- What is it you want and what can you realistically afford? Do you want at least a 3 bed? Or would you like a home that is detached or semi detached? There is also the option of whether you live in an estate or out on its own in the woods! You may want an en suite or perhaps you’d love a large kitchen and as each property is different it will require some viewings and lots of hours on the internet viewing homes on different websites.

Be flexible- You may have to compromise on some on the things on your “wish list” and this is usually the norm. A wish list is exactly that and you have to be sensible but there is nothing to say that you can’t make your home a dream and eventually add the items you’d love in time.

Top Tip: Keep the list with you at all times in case you want to add things to it on impulse, who doesn’t love an electric gateway after all?

New home versus 2nd hand home- This comes up a lot but the truth is a new home is a great investment but a well-kept 2nd hand one can be just as good. It depends on your own requirements. The beauty of new homes is that they are more energy efficient, come ready to move into and the only thing you need to worry about is the party! As for 2nd hand homes they are pre-loved and may have marks of other people, they may not be as perfect but it might be situated in an area you love. The thing about 2nd hand homes is they have created a community and you can be more aware of the area or the people who reside in it. A new home will mean a new community and less knowledge of the area it will become but, this may suit you; each to their own.

Talk to your local estate agent- Estate agents provide a great service and good ones will be helpful in uniting a buyer and a purchaser. Talk to your local agent and ask them about your requirements and see if they have anything that would suit. Even if they don’t they may in the future. Don’t forget to keep an eye on websites, newsletters and all the best home search engines like and

Don’t let emotions rule your decision to buy- It is easy to fall in love with a home and dare to dream about your kiddie riding his bicycle or it may have a significant feature that blows your mind. But, and this is a big but, what else does the home have to offer? Don’t choose something for an emotional attachment; rather it should make financial sense. Pick the house that isn’t as charming but is well-priced and requires less maintenance. That makes more financial sense.

Have fun- This is a journey most people go on throughout their lives and enjoy it. Don’t get overly stressed and believe your perfect home is just around the corner. You just have to do quite a bit before you pick collect your keys!