It’s often been said that buying your home is by far the biggest purchase anyone can make so it’s extremely important to consider ways of completing this process by getting it right.
You will need to get an idea of the type of property and location you could afford. Visit estate agents and go on-line to property web sites such as Rightmove and Zoopla to get some idea of what is available, and where, and of course prices. You will then calculate if your available deposit will be enough. If it falls short, you can work out how much you’ll need to save. If you’re a first-time buyer, some lenders may be able to lend you up to 95% of the purchase price or valuation (whichever is the lower). There are also government housing schemes available to help make buying a property easier or you might consider shared ownership.
If you don’t have enough for a deposit, you could make a plan to save, which may partly involve budgeting to control your spending. It’s often the case that a larger deposit may result in a lower mortgage interest rate, and your savings can help with the associated costs such as stamp duty, survey costs, conveyancing fees, removals and storage, as well as helping to make repairs, decorate, and buy furniture.
When you apply for a mortgage, Building Societies and Banks will look at your credit score before deciding whether to accept your application. It can show them how reliable you have been with repaying what you have borrowed. There are ways to improve your credit score to increase your chances of getting a mortgage.
Consider what you will need for your home against what you’d like. When making your list, think about your long-term needs. House prices can go down as well as up and it will cost money to move. If you want to start a family, finding a place with extra room could save you up-sizing and all the additional costs that go with it.
Location is also important. Research and visit different areas to get an idea of what areas you can afford to live in, what it would be like to live there, what the schools are like, and how long it would take and how much it would cost to travel to and from work, as well as parking availability, local rates, and once you settle on a specific property, see if you can find out about neighbours. And don’t forget about shopping facilities, buses and trains, local parks, sports facilities and gyms and are the streets lit at night.
The next stage is to to obtain a “Decision in Principle”, which gives you a clear idea of how much you could borrow based on your circumstances. It usually involves a soft credit check to look at your credit history, but will have no impact on your credit file. It won’t be a guarantee that your mortgage application will be accepted, but will show you what you can afford. It also shows estate agents that you’re serious about buying a property.
Now would be the time to contact estate agents, search for properties and arrange viewings. This is also a good time to engage a licensed conveyancing firm.
It may take some time, but when you find a property you want, deciding on the right price to offer can be exciting and a bit daunting. It helps to get a complete picture before deciding how much to offer. Asking the right questions will help you understand more about what the seller's motives are, and whether there’s likely to be competition from other buyers.
Things to ask the estate agent before making an offer include:
How long has the property been on the market?
Have the owners found somewhere to move to?
Has the price been reduced?
Have there been any offers so far?
Is the property being marketed by more than one estate agent?
Are any fixtures and fittings included?
Freehold or Leasehold?
When you make your offer, let the estate agent or the vendor know your own position, especially those which may make your offer more acceptable, such as
Are you chain-free or in a small chain? Or is your house already sold?
Do you already have a Decision in Principle from your mortgage lender?
Do you have a sizeable cash deposit?
Do you already have a conveyancing firm?
Put yourself in safe hands with Arrow Conveyancing. We’re friendly, reliable and very experienced. Call us to discuss your purchase or sale.
For more information about conveyancing, and buying and selling your property, contact the experts, Arrow Conveyancing Ltd.
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The information contained in this article does not constitute financial advice or recommendation and should not be considered as such. Arrow conveyancing does not offer financial advice and is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the authors of this article are not financial advisors and are therefore not authorised to offer financial advice.