Buying a house is one of the most important purchases you will ever make, and buying a home for the first time can make it an even more daunting prospect. Not knowing who to trust, what to do or who to turn to can turn a dream into a nightmare. Add to this the vast array of mortgage products available from a wide range of sources and you could be left highly stressed and confused. To help you to make the right decision we have put together a list of helpful tips. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or if you'd like to book an appointment to discuss your needs further.
Be RealisticAlways be realistic when working out exactly how much you can afford to spend on your new house. As a first time buyer this is normally dictated by the amount of deposit you have access to. You should make sure the intended mortgage is affordable by doing a budget calculation. It should not be a case of "How much can I borrow?" rather it should be a case of "How much can I afford to pay each month?" Make sure that you factor in all likely costs that can arise from buying a house. Whether that's furnishing a new property or carrying out refurbishment work on an older property, it all needs to be calculated into your budget. In addition to the purchase price, other fees such as legal conveyancing, stamp duty, insurance and financial protection costs are also factors that need to be considered. One of our advisers will be happy to have a chat and discuss what these costs might be and when you would need to pay them.
Write a wish listThings to consider include, the area your want to live in. number of bedrooms you require, garage or driveway, gardens or yard, new property or refurbishment property. Where you work, travel times and other issues such as school catchment area, broadband access and local amenities are also worth thinking about. Once you have a list of requirements contact local estate agents and tell them what you're looking for and your price range is. Remember that you can always negotiate the price down so set your price bracket accordingly. If an estate agent has your requirements on record and in particular your price range they may bare this in mind when valuing a property that is just coming to the market. Remember, the Estate Agent works for the vendor and it's their job to get the client the best price. Bare this in mind when dealing with them and keep your cards close to your chest.
Experience HelpsWhen buying for the first time, there may be a number of details in the houses you are looking at, which you may not pick up. It's always best to take an experienced home buyer, such as one of your parents, or a long standing home-owning friend, when looking at property. If this is difficult to arrange for the first viewing, make sure you at least get some assistance once you have selected a property you like and are arranging a second viewing. Try to view a property during the day and again on an evening. Things can change such as, parking in the street, traffic noise, and general street noise depending on the time of day. Write a list of things you consider to be defective; this can range from cracks in walls and ceilings or the need to replace fireplace kitchens or bathrooms. These can all then be used to negotiate the price down.
Found ItOnce you have a property in mind, speak to your mortgage adviser about what the potential monthly payments on the amount you plan to offer would be. Try to set a maximum price and don't get drawn into a bidding war. Point out your position as a first time buyer with nothing to sell, a mortgage and a Solicitor lined up. As you will not be in 'a chain' this will make your offer more attractive than that of someone who has their own property to sell.
Ask QuestionsThe more you understand about the process the more you will get out of it. Having an experienced adviser on your side will be a huge comfort and a very valuable ally. Remember, you may do this five or six times in your life, your adviser does this nine or ten times a month.
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A MORTGAGE IS A LOAN SECURED AGAINST YOUR HOME. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE OR ANY OTHER DEBT SECURED ON IT.