Trying to get on to the property ladder? We share our top tips for those looking to buy for the first time…
Buying your first home is one of the most exciting – and daunting – milestones in our lives. Navigating the processes, paperwork and different people involved can be stressful, so if you’re finding your first steps on to the property ladder are starting to feel more like an uphill struggle, here are some helpful tips to make it much smoother.
While choosing the right area is a hugely important part of the house hunting process, make sure you also have a clear idea of the kind of property you want before you start looking. If you’re looking for a flat, bear in mind that there may be service charges on top of your mortgage payments, but a house is generally more expensive to run.
The next step is to take a good look at your finances. To buy a home you will need to provide a deposit in order to borrow the remainder of the property’s value. There are a number of mortgage deals available at the moment, as well as government support schemes specifically targeting first-time buyers, so there are several options to get you started. Remember that as well as monthly mortgage repayments, you need to make sure you can afford to pay for costs like buildings insurance and day-to-day maintenance. Do your research; buying a house is one of the biggest investments you can make, so make sure you’re as informed as possible before you take the plunge.
Once you’ve found the home of your dreams, and got your finances in order, you will need to make an offer. This is usually done through an estate agent, and once the seller accepts then the buying process can go ahead.
You will then need to hire a licensed conveyancer or solicitor to oversee the legal aspects of the sale. They will also check for any issues that may affect the property’s value, such as a low unexpired term of a leasehold property.
You’ll also need to arrange for a survey of the property, to assess any potential problems. There are lots of different types of survey available, so have a chat with a local surveyor to see which suits your needs. Most mortgage lenders will also insist on you getting the property valued, to make sure it’s worth the asking price.
As soon as these are in place the exciting part begins: you can sign the contracts and set a date for completion, the day you get the keys and the property becomes yours. Congratulations, you’ve bought a house!
The road to owning a home may seem like an overwhelming one, but if you spend time investigating all of your options before you start then it will be a lot more straightforward. Remember, you can always call into your local estate agent and ask as many questions as you like until you are happy you are making the right decision.
Director MNAEA MARLA