So, you’ve finally saved up enough or you’re lucky to be gifted the money for your first home. Either way, congratulations! Buying property is an expensive, often life-changing event and it can be a daunting process, especially when doing it for the first time. Here are some tips to help you feel more confident throughout the home-buying process.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Doing thorough research at every stage of the journey allows you to know what to expect and gives you time to think before making any decisions.
Stage One: Research all possible additional costs and savings
Buying a home is not just about the price of the property. Whether you’ve got a deposit for a mortgage or are paying for the property in full, you’ll always need extra funds to cover additional costs like Stamp Duty Land Tax, solicitor costs, survey fees and valuation fees. As a first-time buyer, there could also be some discounts you’re entitled to, like the First Homes scheme where you can get a property for 30%-50% less than its market value.
Stage Two: Research the property
Once you’ve found a property you like and are interested in buying, do as much research on it as you can. Do some internet searching. Visit it as many times as possible. Speak to the neighbours. Ask lots of questions, either directly to the current owner(s) or through the estate agent managing the sale.
Stage Three: After your offer is accepted
If you’re buying using a mortgage, research lenders to make sure you’re getting the best interest rate for your circumstances. Mortgage lenders will have the property valued by a surveyor but you should also find your own surveyor to thoroughly assess the structure and condition of the property.
Stage Four: Choosing a solicitor or licensed conveyancer
There’ll be a lot of legal paperwork involved so you’ll need a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer. A solicitor or conveyancer who takes a long time getting the paperwork done can slow down the purchasing process. Before appointing one, research and read reviews from other homebuyers.
READ BEFORE SIGNING ANYTHING
Your offer has been accepted, you’ve done your research at every stage and it’s exciting that you’ll soon have a home you’ve fallen in love with. But don’t let that make you complacent. There’ll be a lot of paperwork whether the property you’re buying is a new build or an older property. Make sure you read and understand everything, especially anything you need to sign. You should also read your mortgage terms and conditions thoroughly and check there are no errors.
Homebuying can be a long process, especially when it’s your first time. However, thorough research and reading the paperwork will make sure you’re fully informed and making decisions you won’t regret.
Next step, moving in! For more info on buying your first home, click here.