Buying your first home is exciting but can also be rather daunting! There are so many things to consider and unexpected costs to contend with along the way. Follow our ideas to get the most you can from your new home.
It is actually more important for first-time homebuyers to make the right choice with their home. With such large sums of money invested, the money needs to be wisely spent! The average cost of a first home is around £220,000 and first-time buyers usually put up an average of £45,000 as a deposit. If the costs of buying a house seem out of reach, it could be a good idea to look at using a special scheme such as the help to buy scheme provided by the UK government.
You should always research the area you want to move into care. Look at the facilities and transport links in the area. If you have children or are thinking of having them soon, check out local nurseries and schools and how far away they are from where you may want to live. You might want to also look at crime levels. Higher crime levels can mean higher costs for insurances, and you may need to invest in more home security such as alarms and locks. It’s not a bad idea to look at local authority websites to see if there are any planning applications going through which may change the area – this is a good way to avoid unwanted surprises later down the line!
View lots of homes
It can be easy to fall for the first house you view but is important to view lots of different houses to see how they compare. When you are looking around, try not to pay too much attention to the décor and furniture – you can easily make cosmetic changes to rooms. Instead, look out for any signs of damp, cracks on the walls and/or ceiling, poor plumbing, and loose tiles on the roof. These sorts of issues can end up being very costly to fix!
Ask a few key questions to the seller and estate agent. Things like how old is the roof, when was the wiring last replaced, how old is the fuse box, what sort of boiler is it? You can also find out how much their average costs are for power, council tax, water, etc. Look carefully at whether there will be enough space for storage of your things – do you need a garage or shed for example?
Check with the estate agent showing you around whether you are allowed to take a few photos to help remind you of what you liked or noticed during the viewings. This can be a good tactic if you are viewing several properties, as it can help you to recall what you saw in each house when deciding what to do.
Sales Jargon to Watch Out For
When you are looking at potential properties, especially online, you may come across phrases which sales staff use to make the houses sound better. “Cosy” often translates as “small”, and if you are told you can “put your own stamp” on a property it often means it needs modernizing! Be careful of sales agents who encourage you to pay the full asking price for a property. A common tactic they use is to tell you that someone else is keen on the house and is willing to offer the full asking price. Do not fall for this unless you really, really love the house and cannot think of living somewhere else. You may end up paying drastically over the odds. As soon as your offer is accepted, the sales agent should take the property off the market to prevent others from coming along and offering a higher price.