Avoid expensive mistakes and focus on buying your perfect property
If you’re in the market for your first property it’s by turns an exciting step but one that may be filling you with trepidation, too. The key is to proceed in a logical fashion knowing exactly what you can afford and stick carefully to your requirements list.
Emotions can inevitably run high with purchases such as a house, but do whatever it takes to keep them under control as buying purely on emotion can prove expensive and impractical if you end up with the wrong property.
Firstly establish exactly what your budget is for buying a property and the monthly costs to pay for and maintain it.
Mortgage – assuming you’re requiring a mortgage, ensure you get a firm offer before thinking of house hunting or even checking out property websites.
A figure pulled from an online mortgage calculator isn’t sufficient so get an offer based on your specific circumstances. Ensure you know what amount of deposit you have to spend, too.
Plan for mortgage cost fluctuations; could you still afford it if interest rates rise?
Moving costs – establish your other moving costs such as legal and surveyor fees, removal costs, stamp duty (if applicable) and others.
Any one-off costs you need to factor in? Maybe you’ll need to buy equipment such as appliances or pay for some carpets.
Monthly costs – establish your overall monthly costs once you’ve moved in; along with your mortgage one of them is council tax, so find out how much this is for the properties you’re looking at – and clarify as far as possible other bills such as utilities.
Your requirements list
You’ll have requirements of both the home you’re hoping to buy and the location.
Establish what’s essential and what’s desirable and work to ensure at least the ‘essential’ list is ticked off by properties you earmark for viewing and the area they’re in.
Use a property professional
An experienced property expert in the locality you wish to buy in should be sought such as these experienced estate agents in Chadwell Heath if you’re looking in this area of Essex.
They can help you identify suitable properties in the area based on your requirements and budget, and can help you get ‘early warning’ of properties newly on the market. This can save time and frustration as you’ll be focused purely on properties right for you rather than a scatter-gun approach.
Viewings and making offers
Viewing – when viewing stick to your requirements list and try and beware of emotions; a property that may prove too expensive to renovate may have captured your heart, but if it’s going to be too much of a financial burden rule it out.
View again the properties you really think will be suitable and don’t rush your decision even if you think a certain property may sell before you make your mind up.
Making an offer – as a first time buyer with a confirmed mortgage offer you’re in a strong position as you’re an ‘unencumbered buyer’ with no chain.
Don’t be afraid to offer under the asking price; the seller can only say “no” and you may well get at least a reduction if not the whole offer amount knocked off. Again, beware of emotion; be careful about exceeding your budget even if you really like the property.
As far as possible be patient in the buying process; you may fail to land that dream house or simply can’t find anything completely suitable at first – but keep your nerve and trust your estate agent to continue to help you find a suitable home.
How to proceed when house hunting as a first time buyer including budgeting carefully, searching logically, sticking to your requirements and avoid emotions.