Buying your first home is an exciting time. You’ve finally done it- saved the deposit and found your ideal property. It feels like a victory before it’s even started. However, there are things that some people aren’t aware of when moving into their first home. The more information you have, the smoother the transition will go. So, here are a few things you should know about buying your first property.
Are You Entitled to Help?
Did you know that there is a Help to Buy initiative run by the government? When the number of people buying first time homes dipped, the government put an initiative in place to tempt people into buying rather than renting. It’s worth checking out whether you’re entitled to this initiative before applying for your mortgage. There are also shared equity mortgages that allow people to pay a smaller amount towards getting on the property ladder. Ask your financial advisor for help on offers that you may be entitled to.
There’s No Rush
A lot of first-time buyers make the mistake of accepting the first mortgage they’re offered, purely because they’re too excited to wait. It’s better to take your time getting a mortgage in principle before starting your house hunt. If you find the right home and need a fast loan in place right away, you could end up agreeing to terms that don’t really suit you. The right mortgage could save you a significant amount of money in the long run. Don’t use just one avenue to find the right mortgage. Using an independent financial advisor will mean you can get a variety of offers without your mortgage advisor being tied to promoting just one lender.
Shop for Solicitors
There’s no way to avoid hiring a solicitor when it comes to buying your first property. A good solicitor should be able to make the process easy on you, without you having to chase them up every day. The last thing you need is any additional stress caused by your solicitor. So, it’s a good idea to get recommendations and read reviews before you settle on your choice. Some solicitors even allow to progress with the sale entirely online. You can keep update on the progress of the sale, upload documents and chat to your solicitors using website chat boxes.
Think of the Future
Although you may be buying your home at a time when interest rates are low, it doesn’t mean it will necessarily stay that way. Even if you have a fixed rate mortgage, these usually change after two to three years. Before agreeing to a mortgage, make sure to read all of the small print. This can be complicated and time consuming but it’s certainly worth doing. If you can calculate how much your mortgage is likely to increase throughout the years, you’ll be able to plan financially for the future.
You’ve got the deposit for your home and you’re finally done saving. Think again. The cost of buying a property exceeds far beyond the deposit for your mortgage application. You’ll also need to pay solicitor’s costs and stamp duty if your property exceeds a certain price. It’s also important that you pay for surveys to be carried out on your property before you make an offer. These can range from £150 to £800, depending on the type of survey you ask for. You’ll need to survey every property you’re interested in making an offer on.
Have You Picked the Right Location?
When buying any property, it’s important to choose the right location. Whether you’re buying a bachelor pad or something for your family, check out the location. Do you need a school and playground nearby? Perhaps you want to be within walking distance of a gym. You can often tell a lot about the area by the way your neighbours maintain their houses. Are the gardens overgrown? Are the gutters clear? You may see a lot of littering in the area that will put you off. If you find a property that you like, take a few minutes to walk around the area and observe before you make an offer.
Know the Signs
There will be certain signs that make a property not worth buying. It’s a good idea to make a list of things to look out for as you begin your house hunt. For instance, you may notice patches of mould near the doors or windows. You could notice condensation on the windows or wet patches on the exterior of the house. This means, although there may not be any signs of mould inside, there will be eventually. Take a look at the ceilings, flooring and general maintenance of the home. Not everything will be obvious, so it’s still a good idea to get a survey, but there are some things that will be noticeable if you know what to look for.
Know the Market
The price a property is for sale for isn’t necessarily the price you’ll have to pay. In fact, you can almost always get a property for a lower buying price. The best thing you can do before making an offer is research the market and what similar properties are selling for. You’ll need to take the area into account and whether you end up in a bidding war with other buyers. If that’s the case, you’ll need to give yourself a cap, so you know when to stop bidding.
Expect a Few Bumps in the Road
Moving to a new house is never going to be completely smooth, but it also doesn’t have to be as stressful as some people make it out to be. If you go into it expecting a few bumps in the road, you’re far more likely to take the unexpected well. It’s also important to remember the process won’t last forever. Soon enough you’ll be in your new home enjoying the fruits of your labour.
The more you know about buying your first home, the fewer unwelcome surprises there’ll be.