March 6, 2019
In this first time buyer guide we share our thoughts on buying your first home.
The buzz of buying your first home will bring a whole range of emotions. From excitement, frustration, fear, insecurity, contentment, disappointment, joy… The list is endless as you set off on this journey through the minefield of the property world! A few helpful tips and a reassuring well regarded estate agent, will be a lifeline from the start of this journey to the moment you complete on your very first home.
Having the finance in place to buy your first home is crucial, not just the deposit you will need or the most suitable mortgage product but the planning of the financial responsibility that owning a home comes with. Do your homework with regards to your mortgage and find a reputable mortgage advisor to help you source a good mortgage deal.
It is absolutely key to get your finance sorted first as this will determine how much you can borrow and how much you can spend. Your credit score is also important to this process and will have an impact on how much the banks are willing to lend you. You might find that outstanding loans and/or credit cards have an impact on your mortgage affordability. All this should be carefully considered in the run up to your mortgage application.
A first home should not be confused with a forever home so be practical when looking. A bit like your first car… It needs to be affordable to run after you have bought it!
Many things need to be considered when looking for a home before the hunt starts:
- Local area.
- Property size.
- Stamp duty.
- Property condition and running costs.
- Utility costs and council tax bands.
- Don’t over house yourself and take into consideration your lifestyle and work commitments. A first home is somewhere to be cherished and enjoyed and not become a burden as you need to have some life outside the home.
When you have sourced the finance and confirmed the property price range that you are looking in, it is really important to make a list. You might find that what you actually want and what you need are quite different!
Location, location, location
You will have heard this term but this is actually really important. The location needs to be practical for travel and work and depending on how you are planning to travel to work e.g. by car or by public transport.
Also bear in mind the best locations may carry a premium price tag. What appears to be a cheaper property in a less popular location may be difficult to sell on in the future. It is always sensible to do some research on areas and have a drive round to familiarise yourself with different local areas around your chosen location.
Type and age of property
This will be somewhat determined by budget but it is best to consider if you like old or new but just be mindful that an older property will likely have an ongoing programme of maintenance and upkeep. Consider your income after you have bought your dream home and perhaps have a little pot of rainy day money for unexpected repairs.
Consider what lifestyle choices are going to be made in this house, maybe you are planning at some point for the pitter patter of little feet…be this two legs or four (of the furry variety!)
If ground floor family living space is important to you then look for a more open plan layout. Also consider outside space. Are you needing off road parking? Would you like a private garden? Again consider lifestyle and the likely maintenance and time for the upkeep of a garden, position of the property to the road especially if little ones are being considered.
Don’t always go for the bigger house that maybe need more work for your first home and take into consideration the time and expense this will take. Budget is important and needs to be kept in check as it can easily run away!
How long has the property been on the market
It maybe useful to take a parental experienced family member to a few viewings to advise on practicality of a considered property. How long has a house been on the market? Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions to the managing estate agent. You may be able to make a lower offer on a house if it has been on the market for a while. Take your time when making an offer and don’t be too discouraged if your first offer is not accepted…don’t rush this part.
So you have found your dream home, made the offer, had a bit of negotiating in-between and then got it accepted. You are now ready to instruct a solicitor. Get the estate agent to recommend a No-sale no-fee local reputable solicitor for you. A good local solicitor will be aware you are new to this and happy to provide valuable first time buyer advice.
When choosing a survey be guided by your mortgage advisor and be prepared to pay a little extra for a more in depth survey and not just a basic valuation. The estate agent will be able to help with the report and advise on any actions needed with regards further reports and just explaining the survey terms in plain English.
The final leg of the journey
So we are almost over the finishing line! Everything is coming together and the completion day is in sight, you can almost touch those precious door keys. As a first time buyer help is always at hand every step of the way and this should be an exciting stress free journey onto the property ladder.
Here at Simon Blyth Estate Agents we have dedicated, experienced team of experts to help you from start to finish. Trust us to get you into your first dream home.