Buying a house for the first time and getting on the property ladder can be very overwhelming. With lots of hidden costs in the process, sometimes it can feel like there are hundreds of hurdles to jump over before you’re ready to move into your new home.
They say moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do and it’s up there with one of the most confusing things too. Here at Home EA, we’ve put together 5 helpful tips for first time buyers to tackle nasty surprises and make sure you’re prepared for the process.
Make the Most of Viewings
Swot up and really geek out when you go to your property viewings. Go with a pre-written list of questions about the property and keep a look out for the features that you’ve identified beforehand. Basically, do as much research as possible beforehand and think of your viewings like a fact finding mission.
You’re trying to get as much info as possible – remember this is about you sussing out whether what’s on offer is worth it. This is the biggest purchase you’ll make, so it’s worth putting the time in. Take account of natural light, cracks, smells – anything that raises questions.
Make sure you check out if you’re eligible for any government schemes to help get you on the ladder. Most first time buyers should have some schemes available to them to help with deposit fees etc and it’s worth checking with your bank and provider to see if you can access some extra resources. Shared Ownership and Help To Buy ISAs are worth looking at.
Check Sold Prices
If you’ve identified a property you like the look of then it’s worth doing some more research around the sold prices in the area. Checking out how much other similar properties have sold for helps to give you an idea of whether you’re getting value for money and compares your asking price against other homes.
Negotiating might not come naturally to you and sometimes people just accept the price they’re given, but if you’re a first time buyer then you’ve got some leverage that can be useful in a negotiation.
Because you aren’t selling a property, there’s less chance that a deal will fall through and you can probably move in quicker than current home-owners. You can use this info to your advantage and try to negotiate on prices or ask for certain features to be improved or replaced.
Put Money Aside for Extra Costs
Everyone talks about the deposit, but not enough people mention the stamp duty, surveyor’s fees and legal fees too. Gathering your deposit can be difficult enough, but you need to factor in all the extra costs involved in property buying too. It might be worth putting off buying for a few more months, so that you can generate some extra cash for other fees. Be prepared to pay more than you budgeted for!
For more advice from our experienced team, get in touch with us today on 0161 304 0000.