It’s well documented that buying your first home can be daunting and stressful, no matter how much research you do. At Mishon Mackay, we love helping people take their first steps onto the property ladder and try to make the process as stress-free as possible.
Recently, our very own Josh Pennycott, a Sales Negotiator in our Kemp Town office embarked on the journey himself and here he shares his experience and his top tips he learnt along the way.
When did you buy your house?
I bought my house in July, but I think from deciding I wanted to buy to actually getting the keys in my hands it took about four months. It’s hard to know how long it will take depending on what you’re buying, where you’re buying and if there’s an onward chain, but I’m glad I went in to the process with the knowledge that it could take some time.
Why did you pick your location?
I wanted to buy somewhere close to the sea but that also had lots of shops on my doorstep. Kemp Town village is really beautiful, and I liked the feel of the area. Having worked in the Kemp Town office for a few years now I know the area like the back of my hand, so I knew it was where I wanted to be early on.
The property I chose has two large double bedrooms which is great as I’m keen to have a lodger at some stage. There’s also enough room for my four-legged friend, Woody, which is great as he loves exploring the local area too.
How did you find the house-hunting process?
It was fun! Luckily I spend a lot of time looking at properties in Kemp Town so I guess some might say I was a bit of an insider as I was always aware of new properties coming onto the market. I’d really recommend signing up to property alerts once you know what you’re looking for as it’s a great way to keep up-to-date with what’s new.
Were you looking for any red flags when viewing properties and if so, what tips would you give to another first-time buyer?
Definitely ask about leases and maintenance charges but also look at the condition of the property. You should think about how to add value to a property even if it’s just by redecorating and choosing new furniture.
Once you’d found your house, what was the first thing you did?
I started looking at Pinterest to decide what sort of décor I wanted and what new furniture I could buy.
Did you decide to make an offer above, below or the same as the asking price and why?
I decided to offer below the asking price as there was a lot of work to do and it had been on and off the market for a while. Your estate agent will be able to help with this though and can advise on the offer you make.
Lastly, do you have any top tips for other first-time buyers that are starting the process now?
Be open-minded in what you’re looking for! It’s much easier now to add period charm or design a property just how you like it even if it’s not designed and decorated to your taste when you look around.