7 things I’d wish I’d known as a first time buyer…
16 March 2018 by Rebecca Webber
Having recently taken my first step on to the property ladder, I know how daunting it can be to buy your first home. Where do you start? How long will it take? Can I afford to do this? Here are my top tips that might help anyone looking to buy their first home.
- Find out what you can afford. You might limit yourself to cheaper houses unnecessarily as you’re a first time buyer – so make sure you know your price range both with regards to what you can afford overall and then the month to month bills. But remember don’t overstretch yourself – budget for money to go out and enjoy yourself too.
- View lots of different types of property – new build, old build, terraced, flats, semi-detached. It will help you get a better idea of what you do and don’t want. And you might change your mind about things you want or need such as a garage, garden or an extra bedroom room!
- Remember to think about practical things like parking, plumbing, electrics and wiring. It’s useful to bring someone with you for a second viewing who understands these things, especially if you don’t. A friend or relative is always a good choice and can ask questions you might not even think about. And don’t forget small things like carpet and paint are easily changed. Once it’s your house, you do get less fussy!
- Remember to budget for all the extras such as the mortgage and survey fees, conveyancing costs, land registry fees, insurances, removal fees and if applicable stamp duty. But remember, stamp duty is free for first-time buyers as long as the property is worth less than £300,000.
- First time buyers can be trumped by cash buyers! Once you have had an offer accepted on a property, you are not home and dry. You could still find yourself losing out if someone offers more than you, or, maybe if someone is a cash buyer not relying on a mortgage to finance the purchase. You can breathe a sigh of relief once contracts have been exchanged, but not before as only then are both parties committed to the transaction.
- Pick the right solicitor. You need someone that you trust, will work for you and will be quick and efficient. Also, there are lots of decisions that will need to be made and an awful lot of paperwork, so finding a solicitor who will guide you through the process is important.
- And finally, think practically! Don’t set your mind to unrealistic timelines or set your heart on furniture for your new house that has no way of fitting through in the door! Also, you’ll get emotionally invested in every house you put an offer on so try and remain detached and then you won’t be devastated if your purchase falls through.
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