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25th Oct 2022

Buying your first home? Here are 5 things to consider before you start house-hunting

Brought to you by Gas Networks Ireland

Every first-time buyer should consider these essential steps…

Getting on the property ladder is the beginning of an exciting journey, but it also comes with its challenges.

After finalising your budget and getting all your documentation in order, there’s still so much to be considered before starting the hunt for your first property. And when so many big decisions lie ahead, it can be easy to forget some crucial details.

To help you get started, we’ve put together a checklist of things to consider before purchasing your first property, covering everything from location queries to hidden costs. We’ve also included some top tips from Gas Networks Ireland, with expert tips surrounding any servicing, installing or repair works that might be needed before the big move.

With that in mind, here are some essential factors to consider when buying your first home…

1. Location

Your budget might put certain constraints on where you end up buying, but it’s still worth considering the kind of area you hope to settle down in. While it’s important to be realistic, be sure to take some time to work out what your priorities are when it comes to choosing a location.

Ask yourself questions like, are you hoping to live in an urban area or are you looking at rural locations? Are you close enough to work, schools, shops or other services you use often? If you don’t drive, what are the public transport links like? Working out what your priorities are is the first step when it comes to house hunting.

2. BER ratings

As we continue to make strides towards a more eco-friendly world, BER ratings have to be considered by anyone looking to buy their first home.

Every property has a BER rating ranging from A to G, with A-rated homes being the most energy efficient. Aside from the fact that a higher BER rating could save you some money on your utility bills, it’s also important to consider the sustainability element, which is only going to get more and more important for home-owners as the years go on.

3. Installations, repairs, and renovations

When scoping out any potential property, you’ll need to look out for any works that might be needed before you can move in. As the costs stack up, it can be tempting to have a go at some of these works yourself, but you could be leaving yourself open to some pretty serious risks if you do.

When it comes to energy works, it’s crucial that you don’t cut corners. Gas Networks Ireland says using a Registered Gas Installer (RGI) for any works involving gas or LPG appliances or pipework isn’t just important, it’s the law.

Whether you’re installing gas central heating or other appliances for the first time or repairing any faults that come to light during the move, using a RGI for all installation, repairs and servicing helps avoid gas leaks, carbon monoxide and other dangerous faults, helping to keep you safe in your new home.

4. Family matters

Before setting your sights on a particular area or property, consider how it will fit into your existing routine with parents, siblings or grandparents. This might not be relevant for everyone, but it could be important if you have kids and your family plays a big role in childcare.

Is the property within driving distance of any family or friends you see often? Are there good public transport routes connecting you to your relatives? Be sure to ask these questions before committing to any particular location.

5. Think about the future

Planning for the future isn’t easy, but it can be helpful to look ahead when evaluating any potential properties.

Priorities can change quickly and what you’re looking for in a home right now could change in five, 10 or 20 years time. If you’re hoping this property will be your forever home, consider what your lifestyle might look like in a few years time and whether or not the property and its location will still suit your needs.

Always use a Registered Gas Installer for gas appliance installation, servicing, repair or removal. Visit to find a Registered Gas Installer near you. 

Brought to you by Gas Networks Ireland