Buying your first home can be a massive step, and too often involves stress and uncertainty. However, with proper planning and the right advice, it should be reasonably pain free. So, here are some handy tips to help you get on the housing ladder
1. Sort your finances
Work out exactly what you can afford and what your likely outgoings will be. We’ve developed a simple online financial assessment which will give you a result in under 24 hours – you can find out more at portal.censeo-financial.com.
Making use of this will save you time down the line, because if you pass, you will receive an assessment certificate which can be shared with the organisation looking to sell you a home.
Censeo Financial also has a quick and easy financial calculator app for shared ownership available on Android or Apple which can give you an outline of what you can or cannot afford to buy – given your current financial circumstances.
2. Get proper financial advice
Buying a shared ownership property is different from buying somewhere outright. Therefore, we always recommend that you seek help from a professional mortgage adviser firm such as Censeo Financial, which specialises in this sector. It could well save you time and money in the long run.
Censeo has a team of full-time professional advisers with an in-depth knowledge of shared ownership. We also have strong relationships with all of the lenders operating in this sector – we even have our own exclusive deals.
Plus, we have a long track record of working with all the leading housing associations and developers in the affordable housing sector.
3. Appoint a decent solicitor
Solicitors play a significant role in the whole process of buying a property. From making sure you have everything necessary to help you buy your home quickly, to checking the lease and speaking to both your mortgage broker and the solicitors acting for the housing association or developer.
In addition, they will also carry out searches, as well as ensuring the developer has all the correct legal documentation for the scheme it is selling.
Ultimately, your solicitor will need to check that all the paperwork and your mortgage are in place to allow you to purchase your new home. A lot of time will be spent liaising with all the different parties – that is why it is so important to choose a good, efficient lawyer with knowledge of shared ownership.
Censeo has a panel of law firms that we work with. You are under no obligation to select one of these conveyancing lawyers, but they do all have significant experience in this sector which should speed up the sales process.
4. Be patient
From reserving your property to completing usually takes around six weeks but can take anything up to 12 weeks, depending on how quickly your chosen property is made available for completion.
5. Be prepared
Work backwards from your expected completion day. Think about sorting out your change of address, do your homework on the best utility and insurance companies to use and of course book the removal van!
6. Plan for the future
Buying your first home isn’t the end of the process though, as at the end of two years (or five years, depending on the mortgage you took out) you’ll have the option of either remortgaging or staircasing (where you can decide to buy a larger share in your home). With both of these scenarios, it is a good idea to seek advice from a qualified mortgage adviser.