Getting on the property ladder is tough.
In fact, even when you take into account the rate of inflation, the average house costs almost DOUBLE what it did 20 years ago.
That’s a big reason why the average person in the UK doesn’t buy their first home until they are 30 years old. But, when you do finally own a property, the rewards are significant.
Not only do you get to benefit from any future house price increases, you also gain control over how the property looks and never have to worry about having a bad landlord again!
So with that in mind, here are 5 key steps you’ll need to go through when buying your first home:
1) Get Your Finances Together
As the vast majority of 100% mortgage deals disappeared with the onset of recession in 2008, you’ll more than likely need a deposit.
Aim for 10% of the property price as your minimum, though the more you save, the better the mortgage rates available to you.
Remember that increasing your deposit percentage isn’t just about saving more money. You can increase your deposit percentage by lowering the value of property you want to buy.
2) Find Your Perfect Property
This is where it pays to be realistic. Do you really need that extra bedroom? Do you absolutely HAVE to be in your chosen area? Is off-street parking really essential?
Being flexible doesn’t just give you more choice, it also means you have more chance of finding a bargain that will repay you in the long run.
Remember that a first home doesn’t have to be a ‘forever’ home. Think about what you need now, but be fully prepared that you may need to move again in a few years once you can afford the property that ticks ALL your boxes.
3) Negotiate A Good Deal
Every house has an asking price. But, that doesn’t mean the advertised price is the minimum price the seller will accept.
In fact, it’s common for sellers to be willing to negotiate even if the opening offer is significantly below the asking price. Discounts upwards of 20% are not unheard of.
Therefore, knowing how to negotiate a lower price on a property is a skill that can literally save you tens of thousands of pounds.
Look at what you can use to your advantage to get a better deal, but also remember that you may not be the only one interested in the property so tread carefully!
4) Sort Out The Legal Process
Once you’ve had an offer accepted, the often long and drawn-out legal process begins.
It’s called conveyancing and ensures that by the time the moving day arrives; the property is legally yours in every sense of the word. It’s not usually much fun and can go on several weeks or even months, but it’s essential so you’ll need to take it on the chin.
Be sure to appoint a good solicitor who can keep things moving along as quickly as possible while still acting in your best interests.
5) Complete The Move
When your solicitor has exchanged contracts and moving day arrives you can finally breathe a sigh of relief. Your first home is finally yours and you can begin enjoying being a property owner.
Before you get there though, be sure to organise your removals and start packing your belongings nice and early. A removal that’s left to the last minute rarely goes smoothly!
Of course, this is a very simplified overview of the process but it gives you an idea of what’s in store for you when buying your first home.
Just remember that while it can be a stressful time, finally having a place you can call your own should be an exciting time. Try not to get overly anxious or worried about it. After all, you’ll only buy your first home once!