Buying your first home can be a daunting process. There are all the financial obligations to consider as well as the legalities of purchasing a property, it can be enough to put people off. Our guide can help you fully understand the process, however, so that buying your first home can be exciting rather than troublesome.
What can you afford?
The first step of your house buying process is to work out what you can really afford. This doesn’t necessarily just mean how much mortgage will a lender allow you to borrow but it is about what you can realistically afford to pay back each month. Spend some time creating a budget so that you can see at a glance how much you can afford to pay out each month in mortgage repayments. Owning your own home is no fun if the repayments mean that you can’t afford to live the life that you want.
Saving for a deposit
You do need to have a deposit in place before you can even start the process of choosing a home. These days, to secure a decent mortgage rate house buyers usually have to have around 10% of the house value to put down. Look at a mortgage comparison site, however, to get an idea of the deposits that are required.
Finding the perfect home
Once you have saved your deposit, it’s time to start looking at what is on the market. This is the exciting bit, you are going to search for your dream home. The best way to search for a property these days is online. Head to some of the popular property listing websites, put in your maximum price and see what is available in your local area. Create a shortlist of properties that you would like to view.
Getting a mortgage – agreement in principle
An agent will usually require you to have a mortgage in principle before they will show you around a property. This means that you need to arrange your mortgage once you have created your shortlist. The mortgage in principle just means that a company has made you an offer of a mortgage up to a certain limit and that all you need to do is sort out the house to buy. Read our guide on property conveyancing so that you know what to expect through the entire process.
Ring around the estate agents looking after the properties you have shortlisted and arrange viewings. Remember not to let your heat guide this part of the process, you need to think with your head. Follow this advice whenever you go to look at a new property.
Make them an offer they can’t refuse
If you see a house that you really want, you need to go for it so that other buyers don’t snap it up. You can get away usually with offering less than the asking price, especially as a first-time buyer. If you feel that the property is in demand though it might be worth offering more.
Exchanging contracts and insuring the house
This can be the tough part because it’s a lot of waiting around for somebody else to do the work. Find a good solicitor to handle the contracts for you, one that will maintain contact and not leave you wondering what’s happening day to day. Once you have exchanged, you are free to move in. Remember to sort out your insurance from moving day, it will be a requirement for your mortgage company.