Buying a home can be a complicated process and if it’s your first time buying there can be a lot of things to consider. There are some common mistakes that many buyers make, so we’ve got a list of ways you can avoid these mistakes and make the buying process easier.
Find out how the house was built
Mortgage lenders may not offer their services on a house of non-standard construction. This is any house not made from brick or stone walls and a slate or tile roof. This may mean having to pay for the property in cash and even if you do manage to get a mortgage you can struggle getting building insurance. Unless you’re looking for a project, you may want to avoid a non-standard construction house.
Check the leasehold
Unlike freehold, where you own the property and the land it sits on, a leasehold is where you just own the property. Once the lease runs out, the freeholder owns the property again. Most flats and apartments will be leasehold and you will often be held accountable for service charges. One of the benefits of owning a leasehold property is that you aren’t responsible for the maintenance of the building, other than paying your service charge.
Buying a leasehold property isn’t going to cause you much trouble as long as you know how long your lease is. A lease that is shorter than 70 years will make it hard to find a mortgage and it can also make it harder to sell on. You can extend the lease, which can be costly but if you have found your perfect home it will be worth it. Being aware of how much the service charge will be before you buy is also important.
Consider what’s important to you
The age old argument – is location more important, or space? Not everyone wants the same thing out of a home, so don’t settle. You may get more bedrooms further out of the city but if you want to be close to the amenities the town offers then you might not be satisfied. Likewise, you may be a stone’s throw away from the local cinema but you feel too cramped in a smaller apartment in the centre of town.
Budget for all of the costs – not just the price of the house
There are a lot of extra costs that go into the sale of a home – a deposit, stamp duty, valuation fees. You may also need to hire a van to move your belongings into the house and there may be unexpected problems that need seeing to. Don’t put your budget too high on the house price if you have no money set aside for these extra costs.
Buying in a rush
Home ownership is an investment that will stay with you for the next few decades. It’s exciting to own your own home but if you rush into buying a property, it can be a burden. It can be a lengthy process and sometimes you may want to just give up and buy whatever is in your price range. You’ll regret this further down the line so if you’re struggling, take a break and consider other options.
Buying a house with a partner or in a brand new area may not be the best course of action. Renting is a good way to see if you are happy in an area or sharing your home with someone else. You can use it as a trial period before taking the plunge so that you’re confident about where you want to live and who you want to live with.
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