Buying a property is the single biggest purchase most of us will ever make. It’s an exciting milestone in anyone’s life, but with so much at stake, the whole process can feel a little daunting, if not downright terrifying – especially if it’s your first time. With that in mind, we’ve come up with five stress-busting insider tips that will help take the headache out of buying your first home.
1) WORK OUT HOW MUCH YOU CAN BORROW
Before you even begin looking at properties, it’s important to check how much you can borrow. It might not be the most thrilling step on your journey towards home ownership, but it will give you a realistic idea of what’s affordable from the very beginning and help avoid disappointments down the line.
Once you know how much you could borrow, set yourself a savings goal for a deposit. You generally need to save at least 5% to 20% of the total cost of the home, and broadly speaking, the larger your deposit, the cheaper the mortgage you’ll be able to get.
If your circumstances mean saving a deposit is difficult, don’t worry: there are lots incentives and affordable housing schemes for first-time buyers, and a good mortgage adviser will be able to help find a solution that’s right for you.
2) DO YOUR HOMEWORK
Now that the boring financial stuff is out of the way, it must be time to book some viewings and find that dream home – right? Well, not quite. If you’re interested in moving to a new area, take some time to familiarise yourself with the surroundings and find out about the local amenities: is there a supermarket nearby? Are there public transport links? What’s the broadband speed?
Find out how long the daily journey to work could take – nothing rounds off a long day at the office like an hour on a train crowded with grumpy commuters. If you’re thinking of starting a family in the near future, it’s a good idea to find out what the local schools are like too. You know what they say: location, location…well, you know the rest.
3) KEEP AN OPEN MIND
When you start your property search it’s easy to get carried away and fall in love with the first house you see, but be sure to look at a good selection to help ensure you’re making the right choice. Once you’ve found a few properties that you like, arrange for a second or even third viewing and make a list of any questions that you may have. Research from mortgage provider Ocean Finance found that the average buyer will visit a property three times before taking the leap.
Remember to ask questions such as how long the house has been on the market, if any other offers have been made and what is included in the sale.
4) WORK OUT THE OVERALL MONTHLY COSTS
Once you have found a property, make sure that you include not only the mortgage payments, but also other monthly outgoings such as council tax and utilities to make sure that everything is affordable before finalising the offer on your new home.
You should also account for the fact that most mortgages will come with arrangement fees, which can be as high as £2,500.
5) I’VE FOUND MY DREAM PROPERTY! WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
So you’ve worked out your budget, done lots of research on the area, seen plenty of properties – some good, some not so good – and you’ve finally found The One. Now it’s time to put in an offer. This doesn’t necessarily have to be the asking price – have a look at recent sold house prices in the area to get an idea of how much to put on the table. Once the estate agent has put the offer forward, it’s time to play the waiting game…
Offer been accepted? Congratulations! Now you’ll need a specialist property lawyer to carry out the legal work on your purchase – and that’s where we come in. At 1st Property Lawyers, we help thousands of happy customers move home every year by ensuring that the legal side of buying goes as smoothly as possible. Because let’s face it: buying your first home is stressful enough without having to worry about conveyancing.
Get in touch today to discuss the legal side of buying your first home. Call 0333 321 2345 or visit our website at 1stpropertylawyers.co.uk.
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Extended Opening Hours
Our expert advisers are available seven days a week, and we’re even open until 8pm most weekday evenings.
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Our innovative online case management system, eWay, allows you to keep track of your
progress, make payments and complete documentation 24/7 via a smartphone, PC or tablet.
21 Days Quicker Than The Industry Average
Our industry expertise means we get you moved into your new home quicker than other conveyancers, without compromising on the quality of our service.
All Inclusive Fees
There are no hidden extras and our fees won’t change unless your instructions do.
No Move, No Fee
If your move falls through and it isn’t your fault, we won’t make you pay for any legal work that has already been carried out.
Click here to get a free no-obligation quote, or give us a call on 0333 321 2345.