Let’s face it – if you’re a young, first time buyer nowadays the cards have not necessarily been stacked that favourably. Trust me, your parents had it a lot easier! Forget the majority of the hoops you have to jump through, the price of properties and (subsequently) the huge deposit you need to raise just to get a TOE on the property ladder, is enough to bring tears to your eyes!
That said, help is out there. With regards to raising the deposit money please take a look at this extremely helpful article from the Guild of Property Professionals. It this article though we’ll leave finance alone and look at 7 other tips that can help you buy that first property.
Decide what you want but be flexible too…
It’s important to view different properties ,and while doing so, create a list of what you want your new home to include. Once you’ve done so divide your wish list into must-haves and things you can compromise on. This will help you to avoid making hasty decisions and get you thinking in detail about your ideal home. You need to be realistic here. Make sure you’re being serious in regards to your budget – we’d all like an en-suite and a utility room but can you afford it?
It’s important to remain flexible. There’s no point in missing out on an ideal property because it’s a mile away from your ideal location or it's missing a downstairs loo. Being open-minded is important - think outside the box – with a little creativity you can do some wonderful things with the décor of a house or the look of a garden.
Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases of your life, so take your time when making important decisions. Try to ignore the pressure to buy straight away – you’ll likely to be living in this first property for many years so make sure you’ll be happy and comfortable there.
Find the best local agent and a top solicitor
An experienced, respected local agent will be well-informed and able to answer any questions, not only about the property, but also the area you are moving into. It’s best to have a look at all the agents in your area – check out if they are registered with the Guild of Property Professionals, as that is always a good guide to respectability.
Make sure you meet your chosen agents face-to-face and explain in detail what your requirements are - this will make them remember you and think of you when a suitable property comes on the market. Look out for new properties on their website and different online portals as great homes tend to get snapped up quickly.
As for solicitors, you need someone trustworthy and someone who will work hard for you. Your estate agency may recommend one for you. Usually, you get what you pay for and this is definitely not the time to penny pinch. Being a first-time buyer, you will most likely need someone more experienced to deal with Land Registry, draw up and explaining contracts etc.
Learn more about your prospective home and prepare to negotiate
So let’s say that you’ve found your property and you’re eager to make an offer. Before you progress to the next step, make sure you learn as much as you can about your prospective new home. How long has it been on the market? Can you afford the council tax and other utilities? What about the neighbours? Are there shops or a pub nearby? Local schools? These are important things to consider even before you’ve hired a surveyor to inspect the condition of the property.
And remember the price of the property is rarely set in stone and many sellers are often willing to negotiate. If the property needs some work or your surveyor revealed any defects, use this as an argument to agree a more affordable price. You can ask the estate agent to do this for you, however, as a buyer, you will be the one making the final decision and should be in control at all times.
Enjoy the process
Buying a property will often take a LOT longer than you anticipate, so do try to enjoy the process. It is time-consuming and one of the biggest events in your life so try not to over-stretch yourself by combining it with weddings or having a baby! Buying your first home is a big step in every person’s life and should be remembered fondly. The whole process might take longer than you originally anticipated.
If you have any questions on buying your first home please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
If you are interested in moving into the Harlow area pleas get in touch.
T: 01279 418888