Buying your first home can be a daunting task to undertake. From working out where to buy, through to actually moving in, there is a lot to consider and not a decision that should be rushed.
So to help here are our 12 key pieces of advice when buying your first home:
1. Don’t be rushed into buying by a pushy estate agent. They will often arrange ‘open days’ where they will invite several prospective purchasers to view at the same time. This is designed to create emotional fear that someone else will make an offer before you do.
2. Set your limit and don’t go above it. There will always be another property in another street or another town that will suit you.
3. Once your offer is accepted, you will need to move fast. If you have purchased through an estate agent, they will likely try and persuade you to use their mortgage broker and conveyancing services – you don’t have to and don’t feel obliged to. This is an important decision so don’t be pushed. Far better to get a decision in principle from a broker before you make your offer and have proof of your deposit available. You will also need proof of ID.
4. Once your offer is accepted, ask the agent to take it off the market.
5. A property report or valuation is not a survey. These are produced for the lender only so you should consider paying that little bit extra for a homebuyers report.
6. If you decide not to use the estate agency mortgage services, then use a mortgage broker rather than a high street lender. You will likely pay a fee for this service, but they can give you a better view of what is available
7. Do your homework about the area. Check out what is happening and if there are any major developments in the pipeline, what the schools are like and transportation links to work.
8. Remember you are buying for the long-term so don’t panic over the mortgage. Lenders want to lend if you have good credit and the property satisfies their criteria.
9. Don’t expect things to happen overnight. Once your offer is in, it can take months to reach completion as you will likely be in a chain so bear this in mind for giving notice on your tenancy.
10. Before exchange of contracts, you can still change your mind but keep in mind that you will have incurred some costs – survey and solicitor costs are the most likely. Make sure you are aware of these at the start of the process.
11. You are liable for the property from the date of exchange so make sure you arrange your insurance to start on that day.
12. Once you exchange contracts, you are committed to buying, and that is when the completion day is set so don’t get pushed into a date that does not work for you.
Buying a home shouldn’t feel pressurised or overly stressful. The key points are to do your homework, stick to your budget and ask questions to make sure that you are fully informed along the whole buying process.
Article by: Mark Lloyd, co-owner and founder of Property Mastery Academy