Buying your first property can be a daunting affair with a great many things to consider. Finding the right property, at the right price and in the right area are just some of the considerations that need to be seriously thought about.
Then there’s the not-particularly-enviable-task of having to sift through many mortgage options to make sure that you get the best deal possible.
However, with property prices predicted to increase by more than 4% in 2016, now may just be the time to put those fears to bed, finally bite the bullet and take your first tentative steps into the big scary world of the property market.
But, with so many factors to consider, it is easy to get lost and lose track of important things. Buying the right property is not down to luck, but rather the product of clear vision and diligent research. Let us assist, therefore, with our top tips for entering the property market in 2016.
What Do You Want To Achieve?
The first thing you want to be thinking about is what you actually want to achieve with your property purchase, as this will guide many of the decisions that you need to make.
If you are looking for your dream home that you plan to live in and raise a family, then you need to think about what you want. If you are looking to buy a new home then tour some developments and have a look around. Most new developments will have show homes that you can look around to get a feel for the place.
If you wish to buy a more established home, then you need to think about the sort of property that you are after. Do you want a fixer-upper that you can renovate and style to your tastes, or do you want something that is good to go and needs little in the way of remodelling?
Remember that any alterations you want to make to the property are going to need to be factored into your budget. So, the more you need to do, the less you will have to spend on the initial purchase.
Picking The Wrong Builder Can Cost You Dearly
Also be sure to get a building inspector and pest control expert to give the place a once over to identify any issues that may be lurking below the surface. This is an often overlooked factor that could potentially lead to significant costs in the future.
If you are looking to craft your dream home from scratch, then you need to be shopping around for builders. Always carry out an interview process with several firms, to make sure that you are hiring the best people for the job. Also be sure to carry out some independent research to establish how satisfied previous customers have been with their work.
If you are looking to buy a property with a view to renting it out, then you need to be thinking about several things as well. Things such as the right area, the right property, what sort of tenants you want (families, couples, students etc.), rental return and capital growth.
Whatever you are buying your first property for, remember that you and you alone are going to be responsible for its upkeep and maintenance. Gone will be the days of phoning up your landlord to fix the boiler or washing machine, so shop around for insurance policies as well – much like with a car, an unexpected repair can really mess up your budgeting.
You need to be sure to manage your expectations as a first time buyer. It is very easy to get a bit giddy at the thought of jumping on to the property ladder and get carried away.
It is very possible – nay, likely – that you will not be able to acquire the house of your dreams right off the bat. This means that you will often have to purchase a more realistically priced property to use as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.
You want to be getting a good return on your investment, therefore, and a realistic plan to pay the mortgage off quickly. Look at different areas and see which ones are enjoying a boom period, where prices are likely to increase significantly in the coming year, so that you can get great sale soon and clamber up to that next rung – one step closer to the house of your dreams.
Buying a property really is about mediating the battle between your heart and your mind. You are probably not going to be able to achieve everything you want to achieve with your first purchase, so play the long game and start working towards your ideal home with baby steps.
We hope you find these tips useful. Please let us know if you are looking to buy in 2016 and what your hopes and expectations are.