5 tips for first-time buyers

Buying your first home is exciting, but it can also be daunting. We look at 5 points you can deal with before you start your search.

There are lots of things to consider when buying a home and it can seem overwhelming the first time you go through the process. If you take the time to go through the following straight away, you’ll get off to a good start and be ready to move as soon as you find your dream home.

Do your calculations carefully before you search

Make a list of all the expenses you are likely to incur, from Stamp Duty through to the costs of removals. Your solicitor will be able to provide a list of things like Land Registry and search fees. Then work out how much you can realistically afford.

Apply for a mortgage offer in principle

By applying for your mortgage before you find a property, you make yourself a more attractive buyer. Those wishing to move in a hurry will be more likely to choose you over someone who hasn’t yet applied for a mortgage.

Lenders are used to issuing mortgage offers in principle to people who have yet to find a home. If you apply now, you’ll have the opportunity to supply them with all the paperwork and information they need before the pressure is on.

Consider using a mortgage broker if you’re struggling to find the right deal or wondering which type of mortgage is the best for you.

Make sure you understand the mortgage details

Go through the mortgage documentation carefully and make sure you understand the offer. There are often penalties if you redeem a fixed- rate offer early for example, and you need to be sure that there won’t be any nasty surprises further on down the line. Check the mortgage term, whether the offer is on a repayment or interest-only basis and make sure you can afford the monthly payments, taking into account that they may increase.

Research the area and the property thoroughly

Check out the area you’re intending to move to as well as the property itself. Visit at different times of the day and evening. Your solicitor will find out some information via local searches, such as any planned building or new roads, but when it comes to noise, nuisance neighbours or heavy traffic, you will need to make your own investigations.

Put a solicitor in place before you find your new home

If you find a solicitor to act on your behalf before you start searching for a property, then you’ll be ready to proceed quickly once you find the right home. Sellers are more likely to take you seriously if you can show that you have a mortgage offer and a lawyer lined up and ready to go.

If you would like to talk to one of our expert property lawyers, ring us on 0345 2413100 or email us at mail@cplaw.co.uk.

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