If you have never bought a house before and you are thinking of getting on to the property ladder for the first time, you can be forgiven for finding the whole thing a little overwhelming, however, it needn’t be.
While there are a few steps involved in buying a property, there is always expert guidance and advice just a phone call away, all helping to make it as smooth as possible, leaving you to concentrate on purchasing the home of your dreams.
The first step is to find the property you want to buy, and to ensure that your income and savings can cover the mortgage and deposit. There are plenty of mortgage calculators available online, so this should be fairly straightforward.
Making an offer
Once you have found the right property, the next step is to make an offer. While it can be tempting to offer the full amount, if you really want the property, you should consider how much you are happy to pay, and then perhaps make a smaller offer with room for negotiation. However, you should also consider the fact that if the property is very nice or on sale at a good price, someone else could beat you to it and offer the asking price.
Get a solicitor
If you haven’t employed a solicitor yet, there’s no time like the present. There will be legal aspects when buying a property and it is essential that you have a solicitor in place. They don’t all charge the same though, so it’s not a bad idea to get a few quotes before you start as it can save you a lot of money.
Get a survey
Before buying a property you will need to get a survey done. While your proposed mortgage lender will be happy to provide a surveyor, it may be a good idea to employ your own. If you are in any doubt as to the condition of the property, the extra you will pay for an in-depth survey could save you a lot on possible house repairs down the line.
This is where the solicitors take over for both the buyer and seller to ensure everything is legal and above board. They will check to ensure the owner has the right to sell the property. The will also check to ensure there is nothing you have missed such and that the transfer of the property from the seller to the buyer goes through as smoothly as possible.
Exchange and complete
This is the point where the buyer pays their deposit and a completion date is set. The date is normally around 4 weeks ahead. All that remains is to wait for the date, collect the keys, and to live happily every ever in your new home.
Buying your first home can be an exciting time, but it’s also one of the most stressful. An independent estate agent will be able to advise you better than chains that are connected to certain lenders and other professionals, so choose your agent wisely. There’s nothing to say you have to stick with one if you don’t feel like they are working on your behalf and the beauty of independents is that they are impartial when it comes to helping you choose a lender, surveyor and other relevant professional.
Article by Matthew Fine, Managing Director of Hunters Marylebone branch. Follow Matthew on LinkedIn by clicking here.