For first-time buyers that are taking their first steps onto the property ladder, we’re sure that you’re feeling nervous about picking your new property. As an inexperienced buyer, there’s a lot that you can miss, but our quick guide should help with the basics.
Real estate agents with good reviews
If you know any friends or family who have purchased property in your idea area, ask them for recommendations. Remember that social media is a powerful and free tool.
Homes with recent surveys
Do not put an offer on a property that hasn’t been recently checked by a surveyor. Most sellers will have had a recent survey, but it’s also worth asking for your own to be carried out by a company you trust.
If you don’t own a car, move near transport links and stay near city centres (unless you’re looking for more of a countryside vibe). If you spend your weekends hiking, why not move nearer green areas? Examine your needs and wants, as well as what you can afford. Don’t be afraid to move to places where you have few friends or family nearby.
As a first-time buyer, you may be looking to invest, or you may be looking for a home. Investment properties often require a lot of time, effort, and money on top of what you pay for the property. If a property looks more run-down than you think you can deal with, ask yourself if you can afford to fix it up on top of the asking price.
There’s no point saving more than you can afford to
Be sure to discuss with your partner (if applicable) how much money you can save each month while still affording your current lifestyle. Do you need to make cut-backs or could you both pick up extra hours?
Alternatively, instead of creating more stress, could you extend the time you save for? If two people each save £200 a month towards a new home, it would take two years and one month to have a £10,000 deposit.
Your credit score is important
First-time buyers with low credit scores are extremely unlikely to get a mortgage. There’s simply too much risk for banks to want to get involved. Depending on the scoring site you use, the national average is around 759 out of 999 with Experian. Build up your credit score by paying off any loans, overdrafts, and credit that you owe, but continue to use and pay off credit to help your score rise.
Don’t say yes to the first bank, building society, or other lender who offers you a mortgage. Shop around and remember to check what your own bank can do for you if you’ve been a customer with them for several years. Get quotes and be sure to always have your financial details on-hand when asking.
You can make an offer
Properties with fixed prices are expecting offers from buyers. Try offering less or reaching out to ask what offers have already been received.
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