Buying a property can be daunting, especially if it’s your first time. However, you’re not alone, as there is plenty of information out there from property experts and estate agents that can help you to prepare for such an unfamiliar process.
What’s more, if you have friends or family members who have purchased a home before, it’s also beneficial to turn to them for support and advice.
To help first-time buyers in Wellingborough, we have put together some top tips to keep in mind which will hopefully make the process much smoother.
Check if you can afford it
When it comes to something as important and time-consuming as buying a property, it’s natural and important to weigh up the options in your head, considering pros and cons, and taking notes.
Before embarking on your home hunting journey, setting a budget is the first vital step of the process. Bear in mind that you will need money for legal fees, stamp duty, surveys, valuations and moving costs, among other things.
Also, you will need a deposit of around 10% of the value of the property; the more you can put down, the better, as it will have a positive effect on your mortgage rate and monthly repayments.
Do your homework
Once you have established a budget, you are free to start searching for properties. This means deciding exactly what area you’d like to live in, as well as the kind of property you’d like to inhabit.
As well as searching by asking price, property type and number of bedrooms, you can refine your search by using keywords such as garage or parking. It’s also helpful to utilise any available tools such as map searches and travel times to get a realistic picture of how convenient the property’s location is.
Once you have decided on an area, you will need to research the properties in that location. Think carefully about your requirements and desires; narrow down properties to ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’. This should help your search to be more concise.
Secure the right mortgage
There is a growing selection of mortgage products and types on the markets, so finding the right one for you is key; whether it be repayment, interest-only, fixed, tracker or discounted. Using mortgage comparison websites or speaking to a mortgage broker could help to make the decision less intimidating. Luckily, many mortgage companies have special deals for first-time buyers.
The mortgage you get or are entitled to will heavily depend on a combination of your deposit, salary (or combined salaries if you’re buying with someone else), outstanding debts and credit score.
For first-time buyers – or any buyer – it’s imperative to get a mortgage in principle beforehand. This ensures sellers and estate agents that you are a serious buyer who is backed by a potential lender with funds in place.
Find a good estate agent
Getting in touch with a good agent and building a rapport with them could mean that you hear of crucial developments before other potential buyers. Ideally, you would need a mortgage in principle before commencing your property search, as this would help to ensure you are at the forefront of the agent’s mind.
Swapping contact details, asking for advice, giving them your requirements and feedback as well as keeping in touch regularly will show them you are a serious candidate.
Be picky with viewings
On viewing day, remember you are analysing a property that could potentially become yours, so it’s good to do a thorough search of the home to ensure everything is up to standard. This means taking your own pictures and asking any questions, even if they may seem obvious.
Have a keen eye for cracks in walls, ask to move furniture to check the flooring and any hidden spaces, ask about the plumbing, use your nose to smell for damp, look out for leaks and bad guttering outside and inspect the condition of neighbouring homes.
Be strategic when making an offer
You’ve found the perfect property, so now it’s time to make a bid for it. Before doing so, it’s handy to check the asking price against sold prices of other homes in the local area – this will give you a general idea of how much the property could be worth.
It’s always good to put the offer in writing to avoid confusion down the line. If the seller is interested, then the negotiations will begin via the estate agent. Contracts will then be exchanged if the offer is accepted. However, you should only exchange contracts after you have received the surveyor’s report and any necessary action has been taken.
So, there you have it. First-time buying is no walk in the park, but it shouldn’t be a great deal of stress, either. Having a positive and pragmatic approach, as well as being thorough in your planning and research, will take you a long way. As a first-time buyer, employing the tips outlined above should help you to buy a property with less hassle.
Here at Hawksbys we aim to assist you in every step of buying homes in Wellingborough and the surrounding areas.