The emotions of anxiousness and feeling out of depth may occur throughout your journey of buying a first home. At W.T. Parker, we are here to help you throughout this process, and we want you to feel comfortable and knowledgeable as you realistically can be.
We have outlined some tips and guidance to help you prepare for the daunting but fulfilling process of buying your own home!
Additional costs when buying a first home
When preparing to buy a property, one of your main priorities should be getting familiar with a budget you want to maintain. Below are some of the potential payments that may become apparent during the process that you should be made aware of:
• Deposits – You will need to have a house deposit saved up before looking on various websites for your ideal home. A house deposit is a payment which is made upfront towards the agreed price of your chosen property. The minimum percentage for a deposit is 5% (this is in severe cases and only applicable if the client meets specific criteria). The UK average is approximately 10-15% of the agreed house price. It is advisable to save up as much money as you can as this will increase the amount of the house you own and minimise the amount you have to pay monthly for your mortgage, known as a loan to value ratio. Some ideas to help you save for this deposit would be to cut down on unnecessary purchases and monthly payments such as TV subscriptions, spontaneous trips to the shopping centre and nights out. Instead of these, you could create a budget for each month’s expenditures, including food shopping, bills, and trips, to maximise your saving potential.
• Solicitors – When buying a property, solicitors will come to guide you through the contracts and agreements when you make an offer on a property. They will contact the seller’s solicitor to ensure that the paperwork is thoroughly checked upon completion, making the process as efficient and effortless as possible for you. In addition, they will conduct various searches on topics such as; Environmental, Local Authority and Land Registry searches.
• Surveys – While buying a first home, surveys are a typical process that house buyers go through. Even though they’re not compulsory, a survey may help you avoid undesirable surprises such as cracks in the building structures and the electrics needing rewiring. If you do decide that you want a survey, the most common survey is a ‘Building Survey’, which will be conducted throughout your home, checking the structure from head to toe (roofs, doors, windows etc.). This process will lift a considerable weight off your shoulders. When it is complete, you will know that you can move into your home without worry, so it is assured that you won’t be living in a building full of everlasting problems requiring expensive repairs.
Viewing your potential property when buying a first home
Once you have identified an ideal and maintainable budget for your deposit, including associated costs, you will be ready to start viewing potential properties on the market. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. These include:
• The property’s location – Before choosing your desired home, it will be beneficial to research the area surrounding the property. You may want to base yourself close to main transport links such as main roads, motorways, or railway stations for commuting to work. Or you may want a quieter location with local amenities within walking distance. If you have pets, researching local parks or suitable areas of space for walks should be prioritised.
• The condition of the property – A ready to move in condition, needs some cosmetic improvements or a project with potential; these are some of the options you will have when choosing your future home. A survey will identify any potential faults with a property. Be realistic with the time you will have available to undertake any work. Do you have the skills to complete jobs yourself, or would you need to pay for a professional? Don’t forget that some significant renovations will require planning permission or building control. A potential solution is to make a checklist of all the adjustments and renovation projects your house will potentially need to help you create a structured plan to minimise anxiety or stress regarding the property buying process.
• The seller will be trying to show their property in its best form through the use of smells such as diffusers and freshly baked goods, bright lighting and maybe even fresh coats of paint. Though these in themselves are not a reason for concern, it is worth bearing in mind that they may be masking more severe faults such as dark rooms or damp areas. It is also advisable to revisit a property and the location at different times of the day. A street that appears quiet at 11am, maybe a lot busier at 9am or 3pm.
Familiarising yourself with the process and different considerations when buying a first home will help make this a success and save you a lot of money by avoiding common pitfalls.
If you have any queries, do not hesitate to contact us at W.T. Parker. We are more than happy to help.