Buying your first home is both an exciting yet intimidating time. For many first-time buyers, the process can feel a little bit overwhelming. The journey of purchasing a property is not always easy and hurdles can crop up along the way. However, first-time buyers often have an advantage when it comes to securing a property. By not already owning a home, you are not part of a property chain. This is attractive to agents as it means you are not tied down to the sale of your own home before you can move into your new one. With this in mind, we have compiled our top tips to give first-time buyers an edge when they decide to get on the property ladder!
Apply for a mortgage early
The vast majority of first-time buyers require a mortgage to afford their purchases. Make sure you get your mortgage application in early to get yourself ready. Having your mortgage in principle ready can help you appeal to sellers that are looking for a quicker transaction. Not only that, but it will also save you time in the long run.
Set a budget and stick to it
After you have saved for your deposit and applied for your mortgage, it is important to stick to your budget. Make sure you set a clear limit and do not view properties above that if you are not willing to haggle with the seller. Decide if you want to dip into any further savings at the beginning, so you can only view properties that you can afford.
First-time buyers should consider the extra fees
Many first-time buyers are not aware of the extra fees that are involved in the buying process. Conveyancing fees, property searches, and surveys are just some of the extras that you need to be aware of. Be sure to include these in your budget calculations at the beginning so you are prepared for the extra expenses.
Instruct a conveyancer early
Conveyancing is the process of transferring the legal title of a property from one homeowner to another. But you do not need to have put in an offer to instruct a conveyancer. If you are committed to buying a property, you can instruct without having the details. This will put you a step ahead of the rest when you have an offer accepted.
Have composure while on property viewings
When you find the property that you have been dreaming of, it can be easy to forget yourself. But keep in mind that your reactions may impact you further down the line. Be positive and interested, but keep in mind that gushing or becoming overexcited will reveal your hand early. This could have a negative impact if you want to negotiate on price later.
Remember that agents do not work for buyers
This is one of the key points that many buyers do not realise. Estate agents work for sellers. While they accommodate buyers during property viewings, their job is to sell the property at the highest price. Being aware of this will help you conduct yourself during viewings while the agents are assessing you on behalf of the seller.
Be mindful of the asking price
When you are looking for potential properties, one of the best tips is to be aware of the asking price. Remember it is not the same as value but the seller’s want. Do your research for similar properties in the area to give you an idea of what approximate prices should be. This will prevent you from overpaying in an area where you do not have to.
Take advantage of government schemes
The government is committed to its pledge of turning “generation rent” into “generation buy”. There are plenty of schemes out there to help first-time buyers get on the ladder. Lifetime ISA’s, shared ownership schemes, and Help to Buy ISA’s are all viable options. Find out which one is best for you as it can save you money on your purchase.
Ensure your credit remains stable
Often, buyers will overlook their credit when the mortgage process has started. But lenders will revisit your credit when completion looms so ensure you keep it stable throughout the process. Avoid taking out new credit cards or opening any new accounts until the process is over to avoid incurring additional costs.
Take out property surveys
While it is easy to get swept away with the home buying process, consider property surveys. A valuation is often required by a mortgage lender but building surveys and homebuyer reports can reveal more about the property you are buying. They will prevent any nasty surprises and can even help you negotiate the asking price with the seller.
How can Home Legal Direct help?
Home Legal Direct is an online conveyancing and property survey network. We assign our customers to one of the expert firms on our panel that is best suited to their needs. Start the process with a free, no obligation online conveyancing or property survey quote today.