Tips for First Time Buyers

If you are looking to buy a home for the first time, use the following tips to give yourself the best chance of securing a great deal.

Work Out Your Budget

It’s important to consider what you can afford before you do anything else when looking to buy property. Your deposit will be around 5% of the price of the property. Remember though, the more your money you can put down, the lower rate of mortgage you’ll be able to qualify for. You also need to consider moving costs, surveys and legal fees.

Conduct Thorough Research

Once you know your budget, you can start looking for the property you know you could afford. A crucial aspect though is preparation and you should always consider location first. This is so important because it’s the one thing you can’t really change.

When looking to properties, think about the requirements you have and categorise these as those that are nice to have and those that are must haves. If you make a list of these and focus your search on them, you will find the whole property search process much easier.

Seek the Help of Local Estate Agents

Local estate agents can help you get information on new properties, as well as if there is any off market property available. It’s important to meet as many of them with face-to-face meetings at their local offices, as by building rapport with them, you can find out interesting developments before other buyers. Clearly communicate with them what you’re looking for in a property and emphasize that you’re a first-time buyer with an agreed-upon mortgage (if you have sorted that already) and can be flexible on moving dates.

Get an Agreement in Principle

Once you have successfully secured a load from either a building society, bank or another lender, make sure you also get an agreement in principle. This is a free document that demonstrates to estate agents and sellers that you are a serious buyer.

Be Clever Regarding Online Searches

When it comes to looking online, there are many ways you can tweak and refine your property search, by number of bedrooms, type of property and basic price, as well as keywords. Use the tools available on property search sites like Rightmove and Zoopla to check travel times and to carry out map searches.

Get the Best Out of Viewing Appointments

When viewing properties, use a compass to check the direction the garden or property is facing and take your own pictures. Consider the time of day and the natural light available, as well as sniffing out any damp and checking there’s no cracks in the walls. Check the exterior for bad guttering and any signs of leaking. Are the roads busy, is parking an issue and are the houses in the area in bad condition or good condition?

Make sure you ask plenty of questions about the property – about whether it has had any extensions or extensive work carried out on it. Take notes, especially when viewing multiple properties in a short space of time, as it can be easy to get mixed up.

Always Negotiate

You should always try to negotiate on the price stated by the sellers. As you are buying for the first time, and have nothing that you are selling yourself, you are in a very good position.