Congratulations!  One of the most exciting times of your life is when you move in to your first home, it’s a massive step.  Perhaps you have spent years with your parents, and managed to save a deposit to buy a place?  Or you have been renting for years and now taken the first step on the property ladder.  Either way, your first home is a special place.

The first thing to consider is where you want to live. If you lived with your parents in a super posh area then its unlikely that you will be able to afford the same area. But do have a look- if you buy a house that needs doing up, then its certainly possible. Work out a location map of where you work, go out, visit regularly. You want to be reasonably close to all of these. This is likely to be even smaller if you don’t have a car.

Once you have got your location worked out, decide how much you can spend. You need to use a mortgage calculator to see how much you can actually afford, and be really honest with yourself! If you regularly spend a lot of money on things you just can’t cut down on, you are going to have to have a smaller/cheaper property. Once you have got your budget in mind, check to see what the mortgage payments will be, and also how much the mortgage companies will actually give you. Its a limit not a target! Don’t go mad – you have plenty of time to upgrade your houses in the future.

Often, when you have first moved in, money is tight.  You may have spent much of your savings on solicitors fees or hefty deposits.  Even removal companies are expensive!  But still, you want your first home to be just perfect, even on a budget.  It can be done!

When you have chosen your home, and are waiting for all the legal bits and pieces to go through, start planning your décor.  Get on to Pinterest to see what you like.  If you are moving in with someone else, make sure you get them involved too, right from the start. 

Once you have decided on your ideal décor, work out how it will all fit in your home.

There are great apps where you can build your house or flat exactly as it is in real life.  You can also use your Sims game, if you have it!  Build the home (virtually), then play around with size and space to see what sort of furniture you can have.  If you have a small lounge, you don’t want a large three seater sofa, for example.  Would a two seater fit your needs? 

Once you have all the furniture set up virtually, make a list of everything you need.  If you are in the position to be able to give the list to family or friends, do it.  Most people want to buy you something when you move in.  They might even have something they are getting rid of.  Be polite if Auntie Mabel offers you her 50 year old footstool.  Just say it doesn’t fit with your décor but you really are grateful, and could she get you a set of saucepans?  She will probably say yes!! (Also, you could just get married, then you can add things to your wedding list! Joke!)

Click here for some great places to start looking for your furniture.