Are you on the hunt for your first home? Buying a house, whilst incredibly exciting, can be very overwhelming, especially if it is you’re a first-time buyer. Here are some top tips on what to do before, during, and after the buying process. Happy hunting!
Before Buying Your First Home
As excited as you may be to dive straight into viewings, it is really important that you do some admin first.
You need to establish how much you can afford to borrow and the size of deposit you are going to require. You can find this out online, however, it is advised to seek the advice of a professional for this as online results are likely to be slightly inaccurate. A professional mortgage advisor will also be able to recommend which lender is the best option for you, as well as guiding on other related house-buying matters such as life insurance.
Once you have established the cost of your deposit, it is also good to take some time to assess the other costs that will occur when you purchase a home. Unfortunately, there are often lots of hidden costs when buying a home and your deposit is not the only thing you’re going to have to cover. Once you have established a rough estimation of these costs, you will then have a truer figure of how much it is going to cost you to move.
During The Process
Now that you know what you can afford, it is time to begin viewing properties. To refine your viewing process, create a list of ‘must haves’ and a list of ‘nice to haves’. These will be totally personal to you and will allow you to only view properties that are going to work for you. If you need a property that has a minimum of three bedrooms, don’t waste time viewing properties with two bedrooms that aren’t going to work for you.
Whilst sticking to your ‘must haves’, it is also important to keep an open mind when you first start viewing homes. Be sure to view a range of properties including new build homes to experience what a variety of different homes feel like and have to offer.
When you’re viewing properties, it is vital that you ask lots of questions. Make a list of questions to ask before the viewing to ensure you don’t forget anything whilst you’re there. Try not to be afraid of asking anything, you are going to be spending a considerable amount of money on a home so you’re well within your right to ask questions.
When booking house viewings, if possible, book multiple viewings on the same day or across consecutive days as this will allow you to make more direct comparisons between different properties with them fresh in your mind.
So that you don’t have to spend all your time crawling through property sites, set up alerts on these sites so that you are automatically notified when a home that fits your criteria comes on the market. It is also worth registering your interest with various estate agents who can then look out for any homes soon to be listed; doing this may mean you even get to view some houses before they are officially on the market.
Once you have found a property that you like and want to offer on, if possible, book in for a second viewing. This will allow you to ask any forgotten questions, and you could even take a tradesperson with you if you plan on doing significant work on the property. As well as viewing the property twice, make sure to thoroughly explore the area and visit at night too; this will give you a good indication as to whether it is an area you’d enjoy living in.
After You Bought Your First Home
Once your offer has been accepted (congrats!), there are plenty of things to do.
Firstly, be sure to keep an open line of communication with your solicitor to ensure as quick of a sale as possible. They are going to require a lot of documentation from you, ask for a master list straight away so that you can work on collating everything they are going to need.
Secondly, assess everything you own before making any purchases. It can be extremely tempting to do lots of shopping straight away, but this can be very costly and wasteful if you don’t consider what you actually need. Don’t worry, there will still be plenty of chances to shop but it is best to hold off until you actual move in before buying lots of things, that way you can establish what you really need. There is also a high chance that, in the meantime, you may receive moving in gifts or see items on your wishlist for sale which you can take advantage of. Whilst you’re waiting to make big purchases, Pinterest will be your best friend!