A First-Time Home Buyer’s Guide




They say the average age of house buyers in the UK is 31. With house prices rising most people are finding themselves waiting before buying their first home. When you do eventually come to buy a house here are a few things you should bear in mind.

Get a deposit together
Before you even contemplate getting a mortgage, you need to have a deposit to put down. It’s best to start saving as soon as possible. Most people tend to put down a 5-20% deposit, but the larger it is, the smaller your mortgage payments will be.

Work out what you can afford
We’d all love to live in million pound mansions, but sadly that isn’t possible for most of us. Buying a house is a long-term financial commitment. Before you commit to anything, it’s best to know what you can realistically afford. Don’t just think about how much you want to spend, think about the cost of your lifestyle too. If you choose a house that’s at the higher end of your budget, you might end up sacrificing some of the things you enjoy doing. To think about how much you can afford, record a budget for your monthly expenses. This way you’ll know exactly how much you have to spare without having to sacrifice your lifestyle.  

Getting a mortgage
When you get a mortgage or real estate finance, you will be assessed on your credit history and your incomings. The better your credit history, and the bigger your deposit, the easier you will find it to get a mortgage. Prepare to answer questions on your monthly spending, so that the mortgage lender can get a feel for your affordability. The most important thing you can do before you apply for a mortgage is to make sure your finances are in order.

Get the most out of viewings
Before attending any viewings, check with the estate agent for any pictures or floor plans they have. That way you can decide whether you want to attend a viewing. Once you’ve decided to go ahead with it, take a tape measure with you to check if your furniture will fit. (You don’t have to check everything, just the largest items.) With your smartphone, take photos to help you remember the properties later. Trust us, you’ll be thanking us for this tip once you’ve seen too many houses. Just be sure to ask permission from the owner first. And the most important thing to remember is that you’re there to make sure the property is right for you. Don’t be scared to ask questions if need be.

Negotiating
This is the part that seems to scare most people, but it shouldn’t  First thing’s first you must know your budget. If the seller is refusing to bring down the price, you need to think whether you can truly afford their property. Make sure you research what the property is worth by seeing what other properties in the same area are selling for. If you can, find out what the seller’s position is. They may be in a hurry to sell in which case you have a bigger bargaining tool.

Don’t forget the extras
It’s not just the price of your house you have to remember. You’ll have to pay for things like stamp duty, solicitors’ fees, surveying and any furnishings or decoration you need. Make sure to budget for these things to avoid getting a nasty surprise at the end.

Now all that’s left is to enjoy your new home.

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