Few joys in life compare to purchasing your own property. Buying your home is an exciting step, but can also be overwhelming for those who don’t know where to begin. To help, we have put together some tips and advice for those making steps to becoming homeowners.
- Do your sums
- Know what you are looking for
- Start home-hunting
- Make an offer they can’t refuse
- Time to pop the cork
Before you can begin searching for your dream home, you need to work out how big you can dream. First, you will need to know what is within your price range and how to work out an affordable budget. Saving a reasonable deposit is hard work but this means there is less owe to the bank and more flexible mortgage deals available to you.
A mortgage is one of the largest financial commitments you will ever make, so visit a financial advisor who can give you personalised advice. There are multiple mortgages to suit so make sure you take time to select the right one for you. Remember, that you will also need money to meet additional costs when buying a property. These include stamp duty, mortgage arrangement fees, legal fees, survey fees and money to furnish your new home.
Do you need parking? A large garden? How many bedrooms do you need? These are some of the many questions you will need to ask yourself. Prior to searching for your ideal property, make a list of features your dream home and location must have. By having a clear vision you will save yourself a lot of time.
If you are a first time buyer, be aware that it is not always possible to find everything you want in your first home, so prioritise and decide what you can be flexible with. Getting the balance right between knowing what you want and being able to compromise will allow you to see more of what is available within your price range.
Always arrive early when viewing a property as you will have the extra opportunity to check the design and build, identify possible obstacles, and take in the local area. Start from the outside and consider the look of the property, garden space, garages and driveways. Then move to the inside of the house and consider its development specifications from room sizes to lighting, and storage space to plug sockets. These can often be overlooked but are important for any buyer.
It is easy to fall in love with a property and forget to be practical, so you if you are new to house-hunting you may want to consider taking an experienced buyer along with you such as your parents or close friends. They might be able to spot things you would not initially know to look for.
So you have fallen in love with a property, you now need to put in your offer. Before you do, know the price at which you will walk away from. Be willing to negotiate and know the best possible deal that will benefit you in the final stages of the buying process. If your offer is accepted you will need to apply for your mortgage formally and arrange a survey to be carried out to the property. If the survey is successful, you can sign the contract and exchange with the seller. Once this happens you are committed to the sale.
Congratulations, you are now a homeowner! You have signed the contract and all that is left to do is pick up the keys! At this point everything should be in place including; mortgage valuation and survey, mortgage, building insurance, deposit, and a moving date.