Getting onto the property ladder can be stressful. If you’re nervous about buying your first home, then you’re in the right place.
While there’s lots of confusion and jargon out there, if you do the right research and take a methodical and well-advised route to buying your first house, you should be able to reduce stress as much as possible.
Some of these tips might seem straightforward, but you’d be surprised how many first time buyers make simple mistakes without really even think about them. Don’t get caught up in a confusing and stressful property market. Follow these steps to get the best deal for you.
1. Know Your Local Property Market
Research the area you want to buy in extensively. If it’s somewhere you already live, this should be easier. If it’s not, you still need to do the research. Most of this can be done online. Make sure you know what sort of properties are worth what in a specific area.
Look at house price histories to see how much things have changed in the last few years. A booming property market might need quicker action, while a falling one could mean you want to wait until it’s bottomed out. While price histories are important and the information will put you in a position to make a better decision, remember that past price rises and falls don’t indicate future performance.
Try and find the house you want, rather than thinking too much about whether it’s going to go up and down in value.
2. Work Out Exactly What You Can Afford
When you’ve done the research, you’ll know what you can afford. Make sure you can get the number of bedrooms you need for your budget, and be aware of what locations in the local area have more expensive or cheaper homes. You can compare mortgage products on the market to find out what you can really afford.
3. Go On Plenty Of Viewings
Don’t rely on online searches too much. They’re a great place to start, but you’ll want to visit as many potential properties as you can. If you’re interested in a house, visit it more than once. Make sure.
4. Get A Survey
Make sure you get a full survey of a particular house before you make an offer. This can show up any issues and save you spending money on something that isn’t worth it in the end, or having to pay for lots of repairs.
5. Consider A Low-Ball Offer
As a first-time buyer, you should be in a good position as you won’t have a chain. That means as long as you’ve got a mortgage in place, you’re ready for a quick purchase. Some sellers will like this, so consider a slightly lower offer. These will work more often in a falling property market, and especially with houses that have been on the market for a while (this is where your research can help).
6. Don’t Believe Everything Your Realtor Says
They might try and tell you that offers have been put in, but this isn’t always the case. Don’t be forced into anything you aren’t comfortable with by a realtor.
7. Be Ready To Walk Away
If this price isn’t right, or the terms—walk away. It’s as simple as that.
Have you struggled to buy a house as a first-time buyer? What did you do to get on the property ladder? Let us know in the comments below.