Property buying tips for first time buyers
Work out what you can afford
Buying a house or a property is a big step. It involves a substantial long-term financial commitment. For these reasons among others, you need to think hard about what you can afford. You need to think about not only what money you have coming in and going out, but what other lifestyle considerations you have.
Get to know your local agents. Get to know your local agent when buying in a particular area. Look at their track record and speak to others who have used them before. Ask friends and family for recommendations of agents who have helped them previously as you are most likely to then get an honest answer.
If local, it is likely they know the history and can also give guidance on the future of an area moving forward.
Find the right mortgage
For most people buying a property the largest cost by far is the mortgage. On top of this, unless you keep up the monthly payments of that mortgage, your property is at the risk of being reposed by the bank or building society that lent you the initial sum.
In today’s market, it is vital that you secure a mortgage with a lender before you start to look. This way, when you find the right property, you can act with speed and are at considerably less risk of losing the property to another buyer and you will also be in a much stronger position when it comes to the negotiations. Generally, the best mortgage deals are available to people who put in at least 15% of the property’s value, leaving the mortgage company to lend the other 85%.
Finding the right property
It is imperative you talk at length and honestly to your agent in order for them to know what you are looking for. They only go by what you have told them you are looking for and the whole process will be significantly smoother if you’re both on the same page.
Get the most out of viewings
Try to keep a clear head and go in with a neutral mind-set when it comes to viewing properties. Later in the evenings or weekends may be best for you, but possibly not the seller. Consider taking a day or two off work and line up multiple viewings instead of spreading them out over weeks and weeks.
Be punctual for your appointments, don’t miss your slot and annoy the seller, who is likely to have gone to some effort to get the property ready for you.
View the property multiple times and at different times of the day to get a real feel for it. Always give honest feedback. That way, your agent will get a better idea of what you do and don’t like.
Negotiating and making an offer
If and when you make an offer on a property, you need to make sure your agent knows exactly where you stand. They need to know how flexible you are with the price, your mortgage offers and timings. The more they know, the better the job they can do for you. You need to be realistic and seek professional advice on what you deem a genuine offer if you are serious about a property as no one likes a time waster!
Conveyancing – the legals
It is important to understand what a conveyancer does. Your conveyancer should relay the sellers’ answers to your questions. Issues such as who owns what regarding boundaries, are there any disputes with neighbours and what fixtures and fittings are included. They should also check copies of any guarantees on the property, details of planning permissions and building regulation certificates. Alongside this, they should advise you and make sure you pay the stamp duty on the property. Lastly, they need to help arrange the registration of title in your name.