Our advice for first-time buyers
Buying a house for the first time is one of life’s biggest decisions. It’s also, increasingly, becoming a major investment. With so much riding on the purchase, it’s hardly surprising that many find it a daunting and stressful experience.
To alleviate some of this pressure, here at Mishon Mackay we have compiled a list of tips and pointers to help guide first-time buyers through the process.
Even before you start actively browsing properties, seeking advice from an experienced mortgage specialist is highly recommended. Not only will they be able to give you an overview of the market and point you towards the appropriate mortgage products, they will also be able to make sure you are eligible for an “agreement in principle”. This will help estate agents take you seriously and will also ensure you are targeting suitably priced properties.
Knowledge equals power
When it comes to property, this saying is more relevant than ever. First-time buyers need to know as much as possible about the area they are looking to live in, but many neglect this simple step. You might think you’ve found your ideal house, but do the local surroundings match up? How good are the transport links and local amenities? Is the area family-friendly enough? Researching on the internet or, better still, visiting in person will really help you to get a feel of the neighbourhood you might one day call home.
Parental sounding board
The average first-time buyer is in their twenties or thirties. Seeking advice from parents who have been through the process before can help put you in a more assured and confident frame of mind when it comes to house hunting. They can speak from personal experience, point out those little issues that you might have glossed over, and provide financial support if needed.
As a homeowner, it’s not just monthly mortgage repayments that you have to worry about. You also have to factor in the cost of things like utility bills, council tax, home insurance and property maintenance. For first-time buyers, most of who will have been living at home or renting up until now, these other expenses can come as a bit of a shock and you’ll need to learn how to budget effectively. You also need to make sure your finances are sound enough to cope with buying and then running a house.
Once you have pinpointed your favourite property, you need to contact your estate agent, declare your interest and place an offer. It’s best to act early here to make sure you don’t miss out, but on the other side of the coin it’s never a good idea to rush such a huge decision. You need to be 100% sure the property is right for you.
Now your offer has been accepted and your purchase approved, it’s time to get a conveyancing quote and hire a solicitors firm to carry out all the legal processes associated with buying a house. This can sometimes be a slow and frustrating process so it’s vital that you reply to any correspondence at this time in a quick and efficient manner. It may be a few months before you actually move in, but unfortunately this is a necessary evil as far as the property market is concerned.