First Time Buyer or Buying A New Home, here’s our advice . . .
Posted on 20th January 2020 at 10:24
As a first-time buyer here are the pitfalls to Avoid
1. Check your credit score
If your credit score is poor, rejected applications could cause more damage to your credit score, as they will count against you.
It is vital to check your credit score before applying to get your credit rating in the best possible shape.
2. Talk to your Bank or Building Society before looking at a property to buy
Before you start viewing properties, it is a good idea to obtain an agreement in principle from your lender.
An Agreement in principle is a certificate from your mortgage provider which shows how much they are likely to let you borrow. It is not an official offer from your lender but can give you an accurate idea of your budget and can also reassure sellers and estate agents that you’re serious about buying.
3. Choose the right area for you
Before registering with an estate agent or starting to look online, it’s a good idea to work out your priorities for the area you would like to live in.
For example, do you need good transport links, lots of green space, good schools or range of amenities such as shops, restaurants and gyms.
Having an idea of what you need will help make selecting an area easier. Where possible, try spending time in the area you like, that you might not be familiar with, to get a real feel for the atmosphere during the day and at night.
4. Be aware of how much it costs to buy a house
Although your property will be the biggest expense, the cost of buying a house includes so much more.
Additional costs you will need to take into account and budget for include, getting a valuation, legal fees, and house survey costs.
You should also consider the household bills you will pay as a homeowner which include things like contents insurance, buildings insurance and council tax over and above the usual costs such as gas, electric, water and broadband.
It is important to calculate how much you will need to have saved to cover these costs so that you aren’t caught out financially.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
Viewing properties can be an overwhelming process, so you’d be forgiven for wanting to make an offer on the first home that seems to tick all your boxes. It is important not to be distracted by the cosmetic details and concentrate on the structure.
Rushing into making an offer, could leave you stuck in a home that requires extensive renovations and could cost you more in the long run.
So, before you start going to viewings, it might be helpful to draw up a list of questions that you’d like to ask.
In every property, test out things such as windows, doors and lights, as well as water pressure. Where possible look behind furniture and upholstery that may be concealing any defects.
Do ask questions about the sellers too, for example how long they have lived at the property and their motivation for moving.
Finding out how long a property has been on the market is also really useful. If the seller has been struggling to sell their property, they may be open to accept lower offers to make a quick sale and this may mean you to may have problems selling if the time comes.
6. Check if a property is freehold or leasehold
It’s really important to know the difference between these property types so that you aren’t caught out by unexpected costs and restrictions later down the line.
If you buy a freehold property, you’ll be the sole owner of both the building and the land it sits on. As a freeholder, you won’t have to pay things like ground rent, service charges or permission fees and you will be responsible for the maintenance of the building.
Depending on whether you buy a leasehold or freehold property, there may be limits on what you’ll be able to do with your home. You may also face extra fees.
When you buy a leasehold property, you have the right to live in the home for a certain amount of years (specified in the lease) but you won’t own the land it stands on. You’ll have to get permission from the freeholder – the person who owns the land – before any alterations can be made to the property.
Leaseholders also have to pay rent each year, which is known as ground rent as well as other service charges. For some properties, these charges can be extortionate.
7. Can the property be resold?
Buyers often forget that they will most likely have to sell their home at some point. Will the property you are buying appeal to everyone?
8. Chose the right solicitor
The vast majority of mortgage lenders have a panel of solicitors who they are prepared to instruct.
If you decide to use a solicitor who is not on their panel, they may not be able to work on behalf of your lender, meaning you will probably have to pay extra for one of the approved solicitors to be instructed by them.
If you’re trying to save costs, check your lender’s approved list before choosing a solicitor to ensure you don’t end up paying more than you need to.
Contact our team on 0113 2007480.
Tagged as: Residential Conveyancing
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