Saturday 13 August 2022

5 Things to Consider When Buying Your First Home

 **Collaborative Feature**

Buying your first home is a huge milestone that is both exciting and terrifying all at the same time. There is a lot involved when it comes to ensuring everything runs smoothly and you will of course want to avoid any unexpected additional costs or unwanted surprises on the way. So hopefully our tips below on things to consider when buying your first home will help alleviate some stress and make the whole process run a smoothly as possible. Leaving you just worry about which house removal company you will use. 

What is important to you?

Whether you are moving alone, with a partner or as a family, you will all have certain hopes and wants for the house. It might be near on impossible to tick every box, for every person, which is why its important to sit down with al those moving and work out what really matters to you as a couple or family etc. Perhaps it's the area you live in, the number of bedrooms, a largen garden space etc. 

Work out your must haves and try to ensure your potential new home has these (or capacity to add them), you could have a second list that includes wants rather than "must haves" and you can try to include as many of these as possible of course, but always ensuring your must haves are not compromised first. Plus its always worth remembering that if you plan to make big changes to the home to make it work for you to factor in the cost of these changes, it may be that the cost of the changes will be too much and you might be better off choosing a home that needs less work. 

Home buyers insurance 

Unfortunately as exciting as buying a house can be, there can also be bumps along the road in the process, including sales falling through (around 30% in fact!). This can be devastating both emotionally and financially for those looking to purchase a home which is why taking out home buyers protection insurance. You might be asking whether its worth it or how much is home buyers insurance? This will vary on what cover you require but it totally makes so much sense to have and will be a fraction on the cost incurred without it if something was to go wrong. Like other types of insurance, the home buyers protection insurance is there to protect you and help ensure you aren't left out of pocket if things go wrong. 

Homebuyers often face many costs early on in the home buying process such as conveyancing solicitors, surveys, valuation fees and more. But home buyers protection insurance covers the up-front costs of buying a house from solicitor fees to mortgage arrangement fees, giving you peace of mind right from the beginning of the process until the end.  

How much you can borrow & Additional costs

There is nothing worse than falling in love with a property only to realise you can't afford it. The best thing to do, before you even start looking is to sit down and work out what you can realistically afford. A broker or mortgage provider can help with this and you can often get a "mortgage in principal" to give you a rough idea of the figure you may be looking at. Remember if you are self employed the process can become even more complicated so it can be even more important to seek advice first. Of course none of this is a guarantee and most will tell you that until you actually apply, there are no promises. But having an idea of what you may be able to get mortgage wise allows you to ensure you are looking at houses within the right price range for your budget. 

Another thing to remember when buying a house are all of the "hidden" costs that people forget. Yes you will of course need your deposit, but there are lots of other costs involved too including tax, legal work and solicitor fees, surveys and of course moving costs to name a few. These additional fees and costs can easily add up to £1000-£2000+ more on top of your deposit etc. 

Explore the local area

Choosing the area you live in is a big deciding factor when it comes to purchasing your first home. There are often lots of things to consider when it comes to the area you choose to live in such as practicality for things such as work, commuting, schools etc as well as house prices as these can vary from area to area. But once you have narrowed down the search and perhaps have a few houses lined up to view, don't be afraid to go explore the local area around those properties. If you drive, what are the roads like, if you plan on walking to places like the shops or school with kids etc, try walking it see how practical and easy it really is to do. 

If you are able to it can also be advantageous to get to know the local area from the people who actually live in it. If you are able to speak to neighbours of people who live in the street, ask what the location is like. Is there lots of traffic, parking issues, lots of families or mainly adults etc, all of which can have an impact on how to might feel living in an area. Of course this isn't always possible and if not you can always try visiting the area at different times of the day (morning, day time and evening) as well as checking online for any issues in the area such as crime or disturbances.  

The Future! 

Buying your first home will most likely be the single biggest purchase you make and a lot of thought goes into it. But one thing some people often forget to think about is the future. If you plan on buying a home and staying there indefinitely, have you prepared for the future? Do you have enough bedrooms if you choose to have children, enough parking if you both need cars, is commuting to your work place easy to do? Ask yourself, is the house big enough for you for years to come because there is not much worse than falling in love with a home, making it your own, investing into it and then having to move because you have outgrown it. 

Of course if you plan on purchasing and then moving again in a few years time you don't need to be quite so cautious but it is still worth being cautious on how much you put into the home to ensure you maximise your profit when you do move. 

What advice would you give to those looking to buy their first home? Let me know in the comments below. 


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