Buying a Residential Home in the New Forest: What You Need to Know
Known as one of the most important destinations for nature and conservation across Europe, the New Forest offers a unique blend of ancient woodlands, landscapes, and bogs. This area is home to many rare species of wildlife and plants long since lost from the continent.
Because it’s such a stunning area for wildlife and nature lovers, it’s no wonder more and more people make the move to the New Forest and set up base. If you want to follow suit and purchase a home there, you need to understand it’s a significant financial commitment, especially in scenic locations like this one. If you are considering buying, there are several factors you need to contemplate first, which we will go into detail on below.
Research Into the Property Market
Situated in southern England, the New Forest is known for its picturesque towns, unspoiled beauty, and desirable lifestyle. The area provides a mix of properties home buyers can look into. These include quaint cottages all the way through to impressive manor houses. Your first step is to understand the local market dynamics when buying a residential home in the New Forest. As you can imagine, property prices in the New Forest are typically higher than the national average. The reason for this is down to its national park status and proximity to London. Because of this, you need to have a solid budget in place of what you can realistically afford to splurge on a New Forest property.
Assess the Property Type and Condition
Perhaps you are drawn to the charm of a centuries-old cottage, or you may be more suited to the conveniences of a modern estate. Historic properties in the New Forest can offer an unrivaled sense of charm. However, the upkeep can be costly. If you opt for a newer home, you can expect them to be more energy-efficient which is great news if you want to lower your carbon footprint. Although, such homes may lack the character that the New Forest is known and loved for.
Decide On the Right Location
What you may not know about the New Forest is that it has a variety of towns and villages. Each of these comes with its own unique character and flair. Some home buyers may like the tranquility of a remote village such as Bramshaw, whereas others are more drawn to vibrant towns like Lyndhurst. To make things easier, you need to consider aspects like schools, amenities, and commuting distance to work when deciding on a location. Don’t rush the process either. After all, you want to settle on an area that aligns with your needs.
Surveys are essential when buying any property, especially in the New Forest. As many of the residential homes in the area are older, there may be structural issues or necessary repairs that may not be immediately obvious. You may find your mortgage lender requests a survey. However, it’s worth getting a more detailed one for peace of mind. If you have plans to extend your home once you’ve moved in, taking out an ecological survey is advised to assess any environmental impact your development may have. Ecology Surveys can help you with this. They can find you a quote for your ecological survey and guide you through the process.
Understand Local Planning Restrictions
When buying a residential house in the new forest, this is a big one because the New Forest is a national park, it has stringent planning regulations. These are in place to preserve the area’s natural beauty and charm. As a result, their planning regulations can affect your ability to alter or extend your property. Therefore, you need to consult with the New Forest National Park Authority before purchasing if you have plans for future development. Whether you have goals to extend your residential home to house another bedroom or bathroom, you mustn’t skip this step as you could find you need permission first.
Budget for Additional Costs
When drawing up your budget to buy a New Forest residential property, you must remember to factor in additional costs that extend beyond the purchase price. There are all kinds of fees and expenses that you need to be aware of, like stamp duty, survey costs, solicitor’s fees, and removal expenses. It’s advised you have a contingency fund in place that can cover unexpected costs. The last thing you want is to go through with a purchase and find your purse or wallet cannot accommodate the additional costs.
Secure a Mortgage
One of the major financial commitments you’ll ever make in life is taking out a mortgage. As we’ve mentioned earlier, properties in the New Forest are of high value. This means you’ll need to make a larger deposit to seal the deal. Have a look around for the best deals and consider using a mortgage broker who has access to a wide array of products.
When hunting for a home in the New Forest, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of an estate agent. They will play a crucial role in your property search and can make the process that little bit easier. Make sure to look for an estate agent who knows the New Forest area inside out. What you’ll find is they have access to properties before they’re publicly listed, and they can negotiate on your behalf. Also, remember that estate agents work for the seller, not the buyer.
The Process of Buying
The process of purchasing a house in the New Forest will comprise several steps. From viewing properties to making an offer, arranging a mortgage to exchanging contracts – the whole thing is going to take time. Because of this, you need to master the art of patience! We promise the wait will be worth it and before you know it, you will be all settled into your New Forest abode.
There’s no denying the New Forest is one of the most sought-after destinations in the UK for home buyers, especially for nature lovers. Investing in a home here goes far beyond just purchasing a property. Instead, it’s about embracing a unique lifestyle and becoming part of a close-knit community.
Just make sure to take your time to weigh up your options, conduct research and refer to our guide above. Doing all three should help when making your financial decision and most importantly, landing on your dream property.