There’s good news for first time buyers at the moment as recent figures show that the market has seen a significant increase in consumers buying their first property. First time buyers have also been given a boost from help to buy ISAs, the removal of stamp duty on properties up to £300,000 and the continued low mortgage rates available. But first time buying can be daunting, there’s a lot to take in and of course buying a home is probably the biggest decision and the biggest investment that you have ever made. The Wrights team have a wealth of experience in advising and supporting first time buyers and so we’ve put together our top tips to guide you through this exciting process.
1. Get your finances organised
Before you even start house hunting it’s a good idea to get your finances organised. You will need to get a mortgage agreement in place to help you understand exactly what you can afford so make the time to speak to your bank or to an independent mortgage advisor. You should also consider the other costs that you will need to pay for when you purchase a property. This could include paying for solicitor’s fees, surveys, removal firms and any work that you might wish to do on your new home. Getting your finances in order before you begin the process means that you have a clear idea of your price range and, with a mortgage agreement in place, you will find that you will be in a strong position to make an offer and this will help to prevent any disappointment or delays.
2. Don’t let the interior of a property put you off
A lot of people can be put off by an old fashioned or scruffy property, and as a first time buyer you might have visions of finding the perfect house that matches your tastes exactly. At Wrights we always encourage our clients to see beyond the décor. Think about the layout of the property and the location and consider how much it would cost you to make renovations – it could be cheaper than you think. A property that is not as well decorated could actually be a great bargain and might mean you end up getting a lot more for your money as a first time buyer.
3. Think about the long term
Buying a house is a big commitment so take a look into the future and think about where you hope to be in five or ten years’ time. Will the property will work for you then as well as it does now? Of course you can always move but moving is stressful and expensive so if you can get a property that will grow with you it’s always a wise choice. Consider whether there room to extend as your family grows. If you are planning on having children it’s also a good idea to take local schooling options into account. Thinking long term can save you time and money in the future.
4. Invest in a survey
You don’t want to get stung by extra costs or structural faults when you have brought the property so we always advise our clients to get a survey done. This means that any issues that could end up costing you money are flagged up before you make your decision to buy. If you are getting a mortgage your mortgage provider will require you to have a survey before confirming their offer.
5. Get to know the local area
If you already live in the area you are thinking of buying in that’s great, but if you are making a move to the suburbs away from the city or even relocating to a totally new town then it’s worth taking some time to get to know your local area and make sure that it’s right for you. Some key things to consider are access to local amenities such as shops, doctors and schooling. You should also look at transport links (particularly if you are commuting), leisure facilities and community activities.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask your estate agent for help
At Wrights we are a friendly, family run team and we pride ourselves on our local knowledge. We’re here to help and support you and so if there’s something about the buying process that you are worried about or don’t understand just ask! We’ll be on call to guide you all the way through to completion and hand you the keys to your brand new home.