Being a first time buyer is always exciting – if not a little daunting. If you don’t work in the property sector, or have no experience of it at all, you have a lot to learn along the way. Luckily, however, there are a range of professionals and those who’ve “been there” to give you advice and help you on your way. The only danger is, looking for a first home can be such an exciting milestone that it’s easy get swept up in the whirlwind of persuasive, smooth talking estate agents, and ending up overlooking red flags along the way. It’s so, so important to make sure you end up going for the right property, as it’s the biggest investment you’ll possibly ever make. If you’re buying your first home in the near future, then here are some of our top tips that’ll help you along the way.
Know Who You’re Dealing With
There are an abundance of companies out there. There are companies who buy any house and sell it on, and there are estate agents who will help you to look around a property that you’ve requested to view on behalf of the seller. As well as this, nowadays, there are websites where you can look at properties and request viewings based on their online pictures and descriptions. The most important thing to remember, whatever route you end up going down, is to know who you’re dealing with.
We’ll talk about the online side of things, because in 2019, that’s without a doubt the most prevalent method of property browsing and buying. So long as you’re looking on a well reputed website with good reviews, you can’t go far wrong. However, do ensure you either call or email the estate agents listed on the website to request a viewing. You might buy clothes online without trying them on first, but do remember that however accessible it’s become, it’s one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make.
List Your Deal Breakers
Now, remember that estate agents are there to do one thing – and that’s to sell you the property in question. For the purpose of this point, try to think of them as salesman with a different title.
It’s so, so important to know what your deal breakers are BEFORE you in for viewings. To help you to remember them throughout, you could even consider writing them up in a list and taking them with you.
It could be that you absolutely need two bedrooms, somewhere to park, or to be near public transport. It could even be in your deal breaker list that you need a garden or outdoor space because you’re bringing a pet with you.
The thing about deal breakers, is they are what they claim to be in the namesake – they make or break your decision on whether or not the property is right for you. Because of this being the case, even if everything else about the property in question might SEEM amazing, you have to say no if they’re all that important to you. Estate agents will try and sell you on just about anything, so be vigilant, and know what you’re looking for. Once the papers are signed, there’s no going back.
Have Your Finances in Check
One thing that you absolutely will need if you’re shopping for a house, is the money to put down a deposit. There’s no good even looking if you don’t already have this money sorted, so try and have all of your finances in check from day one to avoid any complications further down the line.
First of all, make sure your credit score is up to scratch. If not, you’ll be rejected when it comes to the mortgage lending process.
Secondly, if you haven’t already, done so, make sure your money is in the right account. A help to buy ISA is extremely helpful because the government will up the amount in the account by 25%. Having one of these can be the difference between affording a deposit and not, so make sure your money is in the right place, and reap the rewards.
Research the Market
Last of all, remember to do your research on the market overall.
A house is only worth as much as the market deems it to be, so to know whether or not you’re paying a fair price you have to know what similar properties are up for/going for. This means you’ll also have an idea of how much lower you can realistically offer, and whether or not it’ll be accepted. It’s all about playing the game – don’t forget that.