First-time homebuyers are in the midst of an incredibly exciting time. Having something that is all yours gives you a chance to put your stamp on things. It also gives you the opportunity to build up equity while being responsible for keeping up with regular mortgage payments.
Unfortunately, unlike algebra and Pythagoras’ theorem, you don’t typically learn about buying a house in school. This means that when the time comes to start looking into purchasing a home, many of us are pretty clueless.
Fear not! The following guide will talk you through the steps you should take in order to get yourself on the property ladder.
Determine what you want.
First things first, you need to establish what you want from a property. When buying your first home, you may have to make some compromises, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to get a home that you love.
Spend some time thinking about what your must-haves for a house are versus your nice-to-haves. This will entirely depend on you but is likely to include a number of bedrooms and location.
For your first home, it is also crucial to consider the size of the project you can realistically take on. It could be that a new build home is the best option for you if you’re looking for something hassle-free.
Do a finance deep-dive.
First-time homebuyers have a big financial responsibility, and it is helpful to take a deep dive into your current finances before you commit to anything. The best way to determine how much you can afford to borrow and the size of the deposit you need to save is to speak with a mortgage advisor. It could be worth asking any family and friends who have already bought a home if they have any recommendations for one.
Once you know how much deposit you need, you can get on with creating a savings plan or assessing your current savings. Contrary to what you may have read in the media, there are more effective ways to save for a home than banning yourself from avocado toast. In saying that, most of us could make cutbacks in some areas, whether that be cancelling subscriptions you no longer use or switching to a cheaper mobile phone plan.
If you aren’t historically good at saving money, consider setting up a standing order from your current account to your savings to help reduce the temptation of spending over saving.
Keep track of everything.
There is lots of admin involved with buying a home, whether it be keeping track of all the viewings you are attending or organising your proof of deposit. This can become overwhelming, but the easiest way to combat this is to be vigilant in noting things down.
However you find it easiest to stay organised, from keeping a digital email trail to physically noting things down, you know what works best for you. It would be best if you started doing this from the moment you begin looking into buying a home to ensure you don’t miss anything and reduce stress later on in the process when you may need to refer back to specific information.
Familiarise yourself with estate agents.
Once you are ready to start booking in for viewings, it is instrumental to inform local estate agents what type of property you are looking for. This way, they can contact you when properties meeting your criteria become available. It might even mean you get to view houses before they even go on the market.
It would help if you also considered setting up alerts on property sites such as Rightmove and Zoopla, so you are automatically alerted when a house meeting your needs is listed.
A few final words.
First-time homebuyers have an exciting yet daunting experience ahead of them. It requires careful consideration of your finances, preferences, and expectations. However, armed with the proper knowledge and advice, you can navigate the process successfully and find the perfect home for you. Remember to determine what you want, do a finance deep-dive, keep track of everything, and familiarise yourself with estate agents. By following these essential tips and strategies, you can make informed decisions, avoid common pitfalls, and make your dream of homeownership a reality.