10 vital tips for first-time buyers

David Bancroft, the Head of Residential Property at Ison Harrison, has shared some property buying tips for those dipping their toes in the property waters for the first time. It is really useful information, especially whilst we are looking for our first home. The first tip alone is really difficult, there are so many properties out there that are just over our threshold and it breaks your heart when the sellers will not negotiate. 

  1. Work out what you can afford and stick to it. Find out your credit rating, work out your monthly income and outgoings and take advice on how much you can borrow. You can even get pre-approved for a loan, which gives you commitment and bargaining power.
  2. Save money now. Well before you buy a house you need to save money for the deposit, conveyancing, mortgage fees and surveys.
  3. Open your mind. Be realistic about which area you can afford to buy a house in and don’t be a snob, it’s called the first rung on the ladder for a reason. Balance your ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ to find areas that tick the most boxes.
  4. Do your homework. Look deeply at an area in terms of development work going on, plans for supermarkets or schools etc. To some extent you need to look into the future.
  5. Don’t leap in. Look at several houses before you take the plunge, and look at your chosen house two or three times before making an offer.
  6. Take financial advice. Find the right mortgage deal with unbiased advice and understand all the hidden extras and fees.
  7. Be careful who you trust. Strong arm tactics and extra fees can be used to get a deal through, and you might be told scare stories to make you decide or up your bid. Stay true to your budget and take some comments with a pinch of salt.
  8. Pay for a survey. It gives you peace of mind and can help you negotiate a more accurate price for the property.
  9. Don’t worry about the housing market. House prices always go up and down, as long as you have not overstretched yourself and have got good value for money for what is, presumably, a medium/long-term investment, you will be fine.
  10. Dig in and stay focussed on the end game. The process can be a long and stressful one, even when it all goes smoothly. It will test relationships and much of it, in terms of a chain, is out of your hands. But once you are in you can forget about all that and enjoy it.   

If you need advice with buying your first home, Ison Harrison solicitors can help. Visit their website here. If you have any other post and tips please feel free to comment below. 

House image by ShutterStock. 

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