buying first home 2017

Getting onto the property ladder is a really exciting prospect, but it can also be rather confusing and stressful. To take some of the pressure off, we’ve put together this short guide to buying your first home.

First off, we know that it’s not easy getting a foot onto the ladder. However, slower price growth and first time buyer schemes will open up the world of home buying to thousands more people next year.

If you’re one of them, here are some things to bear in mind to ensure, as first time buyers, that your experience runs smoothly.

Take your time

The first time you visit a property you will undoubtedly experience a rush of adrenaline – it’s only natural! But make sure that you remain level headed when it comes to putting in an offer.

Don’t be afraid to visit the house or flat more than once, ideally at different times of day. This will give you a good insight into where the property receives light, how it holds its temperature, and what the neighbourhood is like.

Remember, this is probably the single biggest investment you will ever make, so do as much groundwork as you need to ensure you are 100% confident when it comes to putting in an offer.

Make sure you factor in all associated costs

Most people will carry out thorough costings before starting the home search process, to give you an indication of the property price you can afford. The majority of first time buyers will also get a mortgage in principle offer as proof of their purchasing capabilities.

It’s very important at this stage to consider all of the costs that will go into buying your first home; not just that of the actual property. You will have searches to fund, solicitors to pay, and your purchase may involve the payment of stamp duty.

Understanding your total outgoings will ensure that you don’t end up stretching yourself for that dream home, only to dig yourself into debt after your offer is accepted.

Accept that the process is likely to be long – and frustrating

One thing that takes first time buyers by surprise is the painstaking and often long-winded purchasing process. Once your offer is accepted, it is likely to be weeks – even months – before you exchange and complete, and you will be reliant on your solicitor to dictate the pace at which things progress.

It’s not uncommon to hit certain bumps in the road as your paperwork is processed. For example, you will need a property survey to verify your potential new home’s structural integrity, and this can sometimes reveal things that require further investigation.

Keep calm, remain patient, but stay on the ball. Have the confidence to ring your solicitor for regular updates, and don’t be afraid to ask them to explain what’s going on in layman’s terms if you don’t understand the process fully.

During this time, it is advisable to keep the fact you’ve put in an offer on a house to close friends and family, just in case a problem occurs and the sale falls through. Once you’ve exchanged and completed, then you can shout about your excitement to the wider world.

Picking up the keys is the best feeling in the world

By the time you’ve been through the process of putting a budget together, house hunting, getting an offer accepted, and processing the purchase, you may feel like you’ve run a marathon. However, every moment of frustration or uncertainty is worth it when you pick up the keys.

Before any friends, family or removal companies arrive to help you make it your own, take some time to let yourself into your first home and savour the fact that you own the four walls surrounding you. It really is a feeling like no other. Good luck!

If you would like help on how to maximise the deposit you have saved to buy your first home, contact our financial planning team today.

Check out our recent article, how to buy the home of your dreams by clicking here.

buying a home


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