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Top Tips For Buying A Home This Year

January 24, 2014

If you are thinking of taking that first step on the property ladder this year, you might have already started to look online for houses in your local area and you may even know what sort of budget you want to stick to.

Buying your first home is a huge step in your life and it is one which can take a long time for you to complete. Whether you are searching for the perfect 4 room flat for sale, a large townhouse in the country or a small city apartment: buying a property can be a drawn out and stressful business, which is why we have come up with some helpful tips to give you a little lift when it comes to the stress involved in property.

Choose a good mortgage advisor

One of the biggest helps to you when you are looking to buy a property is your mortgage advisor. This is the person who will give you advice on what you can afford, talk you through the mortgage process and even help you pick the right type of mortgage for you situation. It is crucial that you find the best mortgage advisor you can because these will be the main people you talk to throughout the process.

Get your agreement in principle

It is important that you try your best to be as organised as you can when it comes to applying for a mortgage. Part of this organisation will be to apply for your mortgage in principle online before you start looking at houses. This way you will know what sort of value you are looking for and you will be able to narrow your search accordingly. This will also save any nasty surprises later down the line if you can afford much less than you thought you could. Your agreement in principle will involve you sharing your wages, income and also a credit check to make sure that you are financially stable enough to apply for a mortgage.

Write a will

It is very important if you and your partner are looking to buy a home and are unmarried to make a will. The reason for this is that you will be able to guarantee that your home will go to your partner in the event of your passing. If you didn’t do this the partner would only have the legal right to half of the home, the rest would be owned by your next of kin.

Think of the long term

When you are looking for a house you need to make sure that this is somewhere you can see yourself living for a significant amount of time. It might be the case that you only live in this house for five to ten years before moving on, but it is still worth making sure that this is somewhere you would be happy to live long term if you needed to. Think about your plans for the future. Do you want pets or kids? Is there enough room in the house to accommodate for this.

Prepare for mortgage lenders

When you start scanning the market looking for a mortgage lender, you will want to make sure that you plan well in advance because lenders can be very fussy about certain things. By preparing your bank statements and wage slips from the last three months along with identification and forms, you will save a lot of time when meeting them and this will make your application process go much smoother.  

Have your deposit ready

Ideally, before you even start looking for a home you will want to have a decent deposit fund saved up. With the way the housing market is these days you could need anything up to 20% of the value of the home just as a deposit, so make sure that you do your research and you save up as much as you can each month until you feel comfortable enough to afford the deposit plus all of the other costs involved.

Consider shared ownership

Shared ownership can be a really helpful way to help young people get themselves in the property ladder to start off with. Have a look at the government schemes which could offer shared ownership houses and see if there are any in your area which look right for you.

Get a proper survey done

When you have an offer accepted on a house, you will need to look into getting a homebuyers property done on your potential new home. This will involve someone visiting the home and checking on the structure, the fittings a making sure that no major repairs need to be done to the property.

Keep to your budget

Try your best to make sure that you never go above your budget. Bear in mind that even if you have extra money above your deposit, this will be spent on solicitors fees, furniture and living costs too. Always keep a buffer to make sure that you have that extra money if you need it.

Protect yourself against the worst

Sometimes things won’t go the way we plan, and even a homebuyers report might not pick up on a major issue in your new home. Cleverly hidden damp or mound can be incredibly damaging to your home and very difficult to get rid of. Make sure that you are always prepared in the event of something happening. You might even find that the deal falls through or a severe delay is caused by an issue with the seller. Bear in mind that things can and sometimes will go wrong.

If anything comes up in the environmental reports or you face extra fees for the solicitors you need to make sure you are prepared to pay out or wait a while longer to move into your home. Buying a house is a complicated job so there will always be things that can potentially happen to halt the process, as long as you stay vigilant and aware you will be fine!

*This is a collaborative post

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