Buying a home for the first time is certainly an accomplishment, especially in such a difficult market. Many first-time buyers aren’t completely aware of what is involved in buying a property and though estate agents, banks and building societies are good sources of information, here are some basic tips to begin with.
- Calculate what you can afford Working out what funds are available is an important first step when searching for a property. A deposit needs to be considered because that makes up 5-10% of the overall property price.There are other costs involved too, like solicitors, surveysand removals. Essentially, there is more money involved than just the asking price. Depending on the price of the property, there may also be stamp dutycosts too. Researching what is needed, what the actual costs will be and knowing your budget is important.
- Remember that government schemes are available to help It is perfectly acceptable to ask for help and there are various ‘help to buy’ schemesavailable. Finding the best one for your own personal situation could be beneficial if the initial figures don’t add up as well as you had hoped.
- Sort out your mortgage agreement in principle When you’ve been offered a loan, get an agreement in principle. This is a free document which shows how much lenders are able to give based on your credit search. This document will be useful if you plan to buy in the near future.
- Refine your online research Looking for a property online is easy and convenient and can take the hassle out of searching on foot. To optimise your search, consider the criteria that is important to you. As well as property price, look at location and what is around. Check if there is good access to public transport or local schools if you require them. Essentially, consider all the things that you need in a property and the surrounding areas that are important to you.
- Make the most of property viewings It might seem overwhelming when you’re at a property but it’s the best time to figure out if you want to live there. Ask the person showing you the property any and all questions that concern you and make notes for later so it’s easier to compare details on different properties. Also, keep an eye out for anything faulty, or broken as well as things like damp that might be hidden away. It’s better to find out what you can now before you invest your finances.