Purchasing your own home is one of the biggest milestones that people try to reach in life. The freedom of having your own property is something that almost everyone strives towards. Our aim is to try and make the process as smooth and easy as possible for everyone involved, so we’ve compiled some useful tips for all you first time buyers!
Before you even start looking for a property, it’s vitally important to do your homework. Make sure you’re up to scratch with all the related terminology. At David James, we try to keep it as simple as possible. However, you may come across some things that completely throw you off. Visit us in one of our offices and ask for a run through of the process of buying a property, we’ll be more than happy to help. If you’re renting, check your contract to find out the period of notice you are required to give and if you’re locked into the agreement until a certain date.
Sit down and work through what costs are going to be involved in the buying/moving process. Be realistic in your budget, don’t get carried away. It is recommended that a small sum is put to one side in case of an emergency. Think of everything from removals costs and deposits to mail redirection. Shop around, get quotes and look for reviews (see links below)
Paying for your home
Very rarely can first time buyers afford to pay in cash for their new home. Start looking online for mortgage lenders, try and find out how much you would be eligible to borrow and judge if you could comfortably afford the monthly repayments. David James have their own independent mortgage adviser to help you with this if you don’t feel confident in doing so yourself. You’ll probably need some form of savings to pay for your deposit on any house, so make sure you have this before you even start to look at properties.
Decide on what you want to buy
Be realistic when looking for your first home. It’s highly unlikely you’re going to be able to afford that £500,000 detached home in the park with the underfloor heating and swimming pool. Look for a property where the mortgage will be affordable, somewhere that’s within reach of where you need to go everyday (work, schools etc) and most of all – somewhere you can see yourself living. How many bedrooms will you need? Do you need parking? Does it need to be near a bus route? These are all things to be taken into consideration.
Start looking for your home
When you feel ready, start looking for your home. The best place to do this is online. Sites such as Rightmove and Zoopla are used by almost every estate agency in the country and it’s the easiest way to see what’s available. Use the advanced search tools available in the search bars to narrow down the price and bedrooms to filter out all the unsuitable properties. Make sure to check back every day or so as new properties are put onto the market extremely often. If you want to filter out properties even further, it might appeal to you to visit the agent’s own website. If you don’t feel comfortable in looking online, feel free to visit any of our offices and our negotiators will be more than happy to give you details on properties that match your criteria.
You can also visit most offices or give them a call and ask to be put on their mailing list, which means they’ll email to you any properties that match your criteria when they come onto the market.
When you find a property or two that you like the look of which ticks your boxes, ask the managing agent for a viewing of the property. If you happen to drive past a house with a ‘For Sale’ board in the garden, refrain from knocking on the door and asking to look round. This can often make the owner of the property quite uncomfortable and can even violate their contract, depending on the agent. Always contact the name of the agent on the board.
Don’t be afraid to look for help
The government have recently introduced the Help-to-Buy scheme. This scheme means that the buyer only has to have a 5% deposit on a property and the rest of the loan is supplied by the government and a commercial lender. For more information on this, see the related link at the bottom of this article.
We hope this guide will help you in the process of preparing to buy your first home. If you have any questions or there is anything you are unsure of, please do not hesitate to contact one of our offices.
LOOKING FOR A PROPERTY
www.rightmove.co.uk or www.zoopla.co.uK
www.helptobuy.org.uk and www.rightmove.co.uk/help-to-buy
CHECK-A-TRADE (Tradesmen reviews and contact numbers)