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Buying your 1st home...

Purchasing your first home is a very big and exciting step which requires much careful consideration. This guide is aimed at helping you build a bigger picture to verify if buying is your best option.

Advantages of Buying a Home

  • No more spending huge amounts of money on rent
  • Depending on maintained condition the value of your property will increase
  • No stress of having to deal with a Landlord
  • Added security if financially viable
  • Having a fixed mortgage whereas with renting the amount you pay can go up annually

Disadvantages of Buying a Home

  • If you fail to keep up mortgage repayments your property can be repossessed
  • Unexpected repairs and maintenance costs will be entirely your responsibility and any costs will be from your pocket

WAYS TO SAVE FOR A DEPOSIT

Saving for a deposit can be the trickiest part of buying your first home. Today the average/ more acceptable deposit required for obtaining a mortgage is in the region of 10% of the total property sale price. Below are a few tips on how you can save for your deposit a lot quicker.

  • Assess all current direct debits is what your paying for a necessity? - Review (Magazine subscriptions/Health Spas & Gyms/Satellite Television/Broadband packages etc)
  • How much are you spending on nights out and eating takeaways? (Some people are forking out over £100 a month without realising)
  • Is what I am about to purchase a necessity or just a want? Can I live without it?
  • Start putting away £50-100+ a week towards your deposit
  • Consider saving for a deposit with your partner
  • Are you able to work extra manageable shifts?

OBTAINING A MORTGAGE

Finding a mortgage that is right for you can be very tricky if this is your first time in the market. The key is to plan and thoroughly research until you have exhausted all measures available to you. Start by assessing yourself as an applicant for a mortgage. To sustain a higher chance of being accepted you will need to consider the following:

  • Having good to excellent credit- Sign up to Experian and find out what your current credit status is like and find out how you can improve your score.
  • You will need to provide some evidence that you are in employment or self employed, and maintain up to three years worth of proof (accounts/payslips/references etc)
  • Have you had trouble maintaining direct debits or loans?

Note: If your credit is poor be wary of asking many lenders for a mortgage, as every check performed against you goes on file and if you have been rejected by many lenders then your search will prove longer and very difficult.

SEARCHING FOR THE PERFECT PROPERTY

There are plenty of things to take into consideration when looking for your first home. Location is one of the most critical things to take on board.

Location

  • What are the local schools like?
  • How far is the nearest GP/Hospital?
  • How far is the commute to & from work?
  • How is access to public transport?
  • Do you know what the current crime rate level is within the area?
  • Where is the nearest Police station?

HOME INFORMATION PACKS (HIPs)

Home Information Packs (HIPs) were brought into the UK in December 2007. Every sale property marketed in England & Wales requires a HIPs. The HIPs provide the following important information:

  • Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
  • Sale Statement
  • Standard Searches
  • Evidence of Title
  • Additional information for leasehold and commonhold sales (where appropriate)
  • Home Condition Report (Optional)
  • Legal Summary (Optional)
  • Home use/contents form (Optional)
  • Guarantees & warranties for any previous work carried out on the property (Optional)
  • Environmental Risk Search (Optional)

REQUESTING A SURVEY

Once you have found a property that you wish to buy it is advised that you hire a chartered surveyor (RICS Accredited) to assess that the property is structurally sound and fully worth the money you wish to invest in it. In addition your mortgage provided will also carry out their own assessment to further protect their investment in you.

PLACING OFFERS & NEGOTIATING

Placing an offer on a property takes careful and strategic consideration. If you offer too low you could risk alienating the seller and if you offer too high you will lose out in costs. Consider asking your estate agent the following questions before putting anything forward.

  • Why are the owner's selling?
  • How long has the property been on the market?
  • Have there been any offers made? If so why were they rejected or withdrawn?
  • When is the property becoming available?
  • What is included with the property?

The more information you find out the more likely it is you will be able to bargain and negotiate.