In our last blog, we discussed tips for first-time house sellers, but for first-time home buyers, the process can be just as daunting, if not, more!
The exciting thought of owning your own home, decorating your new space just the way you want, and inviting over family and friends to celebrate this huge step in your life is great, but you mustn’t become complacent and lose direction and focus throughout the buying process.
Keep your sensible hat on and follow these simple tips to ensure you don’t make some of the easy mistakes many make:
1. Be clear on what you want, for the budget you’re working to.
In an ideal world, we’d jot down on our list of house needs something like: 10 bedrooms, a huge swimming pool and cinema room. However, let’s be realistic – first start with budget. You need to sit down and do your maths – what is your maximum budget? Ensure you are including contingency money in your sums, in case of unexpected issues with the house once purchased.
2. Location is everything
Ever seen Location, Location, Location? There’s a reason it’s called that. Yes, you may have just found the perfect house, but if the location is not right, the house can’t possibly be perfect. Do your research – what is the street like? What is the parking like? Is it close to the motorway, local amenities, schools and parks?
3. Go into the process knowing what you want the house for
Do you intend for this to be your “forever family home”? Of course, we don’t know the future, so you may intend for it to be now, only to find a few years down the line, you come across another house even more ideal for yourself and your family. However, having an idea of what the purpose of this house is will allow you to see the potential in each potential house you view. Does it have the option to extend if you grow your family? Is it more of an investment buy to eventually rent out or sell on? Be clear about its purpose.
4. Get funds in place
If you’re going to be getting a mortgage, make sure you have it all set up and agreed well in advance. The worse feeling is finding the house of your dreams and losing out on it because someone else bidding for the house was in a better position than you. Yes, it’s a bit of a headache to go through the rigmarole for a house you don’t even know if you’re going to be successful on, but it really is worth it.
5. Take your time during house viewings
Take note of as many aspects of the house you’re viewing as possible. Don’t rush through each room, take your time. Look at the corners of each room for cracks – indicating the possibility of damp or subsidence. Imagine your furniture in each room – how would you use the space? Don’t be afraid to ask for multiple viewings of the house either – take different family members and friends with you to gain their perspective too. They may think of something you might have forgot.
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