It is super exciting when the time comes to start looking for a property that you want to make your forever home. And it doesn’t matter much if you are a seasoned buyer looking for that final house or a first-time buyer ready to make to jump into ownership. It is exciting and inspiring, but it can raise your blood pressure and make you feel stressed pretty quickly too.
Here are some tips when you are starting to search for your first home.
If you already own a property then you will know what it really takes to get it all signed on the dotted line, and you will have an idea of how much your property is worth – so you have a clear indicator of your budget too. But if you haven’t got that size of asset you are working on deposits and mortgage rates. Your deposit will typically be somewhere in the region of 5-10%, and the rest will be made up by a mortgage. It is a good idea to talk to a range of mortgage lenders and an independent financial advisor too. You are going to understand your budget and the impact that makes on what you can afford monthly. It is always a good idea to get an Agreement in Principle so you know how much you can borrow even before you have seen a house that you want/ Remember you need to cover stamp duty, tax, solicitors fees, removal and more.
Needs V Wants
When you know what you can afford, you can start looking for what you need and want. If you have children or will have soon, you are looking for more rooms – because you need them. If you are a lover of period properties, then you might be looking for something from a specific time period – that is a want.
Make a list of the things that you absolutely need to have, then add the wants on top. There might be several properties that meet all of the desires but none of the needs. Or half of the needs and one of the wants. You’ll need to weigh up what becomes more important. You should always remember that you can make the most of the wants happen after you have moved in.
This is a lot of fun but might pose some questions about where you want to live vs what is sensible. The best thing you can do is to input your details into a property finder, so you are getting daily alerts. You can also get in touch with estate agents and search local newspapers for any listings. There are going to be plenty of people on an estate agents list, and most of them aren’t very serious, which will mean they won’t get a phone call. The more serious people, actively looking, narrowed down the search to something that is achievable shows the agent that you are serious. You’re more likely to get a call when something pops up.
The moment you see the house, you should try to not fall in love too quickly. It is often the case that people fall for the idea of the home rather than the practical aspects.
And finally, always books a second and third viewing when possible. Don’t rush into the decision and do as much research on the area between the first viewing and the second one as you can.