Getting onto the housing ladder as a young person can seem quite a daunting task, however, it is one of the most important moments in your life. Choosing to buy a home is a long-term goal that many save for years and years for. It’s one of the biggest decisions you will ever make, so you need to make sure you’re doing it right. Having a battle plan in place for buying your first home can make the process so much easier – here are some incredible tips for when you’re looking for your first home.
When You’re Looking
Looking for a home can be exciting, but also can come with plenty of pitfalls. Keeping these in mind when you’re looking for a home can help you with the difficulties of the process massively.
Use The Right Property Finders
In the past, looking in an estate agent’s shop windows was the only way to look at potential properties. However, now the internet has become a more constant presence in our lives, looking for a home can now be done online. There’s a plethora of property advertising websites out there, so make sure you’re looking in every place possible to look for your dream home. It needs to become a part-time job – check every website, check every estate agent’s window, ask in the office. This way, you will be able to see more properties and have a better chance of finding your dream home.
Check Out The Neighbourhood
Location is one of the most important factors when it comes to choosing a home. It will impact how much you enjoy living in your new home, and can also affect how the house price will rise over time. You can renovate a home, but you can’t move it to a new neighbourhood. Look around the neighbourhood before you commit to buying – what is the local area like, is there a lot of crime or litter? You can look at online homeowner forums, read local newspapers, talk to neighbours to get a better idea of what the area is like before you buy.
Ask Plenty Of Questions
When you’re visiting a property, you should make sure you ask plenty of questions. You should be asking how many viewings it’s had and how many offers it’s had, and also how long it’s been on the market. This could reveal to you if buying the property is a good idea or not. You should ask about the structural integrity of the house and if it’s had any renovations – this will help you know how much you may need to spend on top of buying the property. You should also ask about the boiler and electric and gas inspections, as if it’s out of date, this could be an extra added expense for you. You should pay close attention to the exterior of the property, and make sure to know if there are any parking issues. This will make sure that you’re buying the right property for your needs.
View The Property At Different Times
Before you buy a property, you should view it at different times of the day, so you can get an idea of what you’re getting yourself into. It’s often easier to spot flaws such as exterior flaws and damp during the daylight. However, problems such as loud music that could make your life hell might not start until the evening. Viewing the property in the evening may also make it easier for you to find out what the neighbourhood is really like – this is one of the best ways to ensure you’re making the right decisions.
Take Many Pictures
You may need to check if this is okay with your estate agent first, however, most will have no problem with this. If you need to choose between a few properties, having a visual reference can allow you to make a decision much more easily. Try to take pictures of every room, so you can use it as a point of comparison. If you need to get improvement work done, you can take pictures of the damage to tradesmen, who may be able to give you a rough quote. This will allow you to be more prepared about the money you may need to spend after home purchase.
Make A Note Of Necessary Improvements
If the home you’re viewing is perfect, but needs some home improvements, make sure you make plenty of notes about what might need to be done. This will allow you to put a plan in place and ensure that you’ve got enough money for it to be possible. For example, you should inspect the plumbing, the roof, the walls and the wiring, as these can all be pretty expensive to fix after you’ve bought your first home. If you live in an extreme climate, you should make sure your home has precautions against intense winter weather or summer weather. This could save you a lot of money in the long run.
Check The Local Amenities
There are many things you should know about the location of your home before you commit to buying. For example, are the local schools far away or not up to standard? You should check how far the nearest supermarket, hairdresser, car mechanic, and other essential businesses are – this could make a world of difference before you buy. You should also check what’s being built in the area- you should know what you’re getting in for before a high-rise building overshadows your lovely picturesque view. This will mean you’re committing to a buy with the best possible information.
Getting Your Finances In Order
Having good finances is one of the most important factors when it comes to safely buying a home. Here are all the best things you need to know to improve your financial situation.
Work Out The True Cost Of Buying
There are many unexpected costs when it comes to buying a home – for example, there may be hidden fees such as a home survey, mortgage arrangement fee, valuation fee, legal fees, stamp duty, removal costs and home repairs. Make sure you know just how much you may need to pay before committing to buying a home.
Settle Your Debts
If you have outstanding debts, this could significantly affect your credit score and financial health. This could massively affect your ability to be given a mortgage, which could be a significant setback for you. Make sure you check your credit score before applying for loans and a mortgage. If you have significant debts, you may need to take steps to settle your debts. If you apply for an IVA, you need to be asking how you can rebuild your credit before saving for a deposit. Having your finances in order can make it much easier for you to buy when the time comes.
Buying a first home is an incredibly rewarding and monumental experience – however, make sure you do the smart thing and do your research. This can mean you don’t make any massive mistakes and end up with the home of your dreams!