Essential tips for first-time buyers.

  1. Know what you can afford

    Make sure to carry out a health check on your finances and get an idea of how much you can realistically afford, having a rough idea of your budget and how far it can stretch too will serve you well.

  2. Don’t forget about other costs, these can include;

    - surveys
    - solicitor fees
    - Removal fees
    - Building insurance
    - Furnishing/Decorating
    - Mortgage arrangement and valuation fees

  3. Register to vote

    This may seem like an odd thing to do when looking to buy a house, however registering to vote improves your credit rating and also provides evidence of address for protecting lenders against fraud, helping to increase your chances of getting a mortgage.

  1. Look at government help to buy schemes

    Government help to buy schemes can be vital for first-time buyers as they will lend you up to 20% of the price of your newly built home and you won’t be charged fees on the loan for the first five years.

  2. Research the mortgage market

    Researching the mortgage market is incredibly important, this is due to the fact that there are various types of mortgages and it is about finding the right mortgage for you, as this is something that you’ll be stuck with for a long period of time.

  3. Secure a mortgage agreement in principle

    Securing a mortgage agreement in principle is important as this will help you to put down an offer on a property and show the seller that you can afford to buy the property.  However, this is not a binding agreement and does not mean the lender has officially signed off on the loan.

  4. Cross-reference nearby sold prices

    Cross-referencing nearby sold prices is key when it comes to purchasing a property, regardless of whether you are a first-time buyer. This will give you the knowledge needed to make an appropriate offer and ensure that you are getting value for your money.

  5. Research the area

    This arguably going to be one of the biggest purchases you will make in your life, so you need ensure that the area you are moving in to is right for you. Key things to look out for are transport links, schools and how close amenities such as supermarkets and Hospitals are.

    Further to this don’t forget to check if there are any developments up and coming in the neighbourhood or any other factors that could affect the value of the house.

  6. Always negotiate

    Don’t be afraid to negotiate, the seller will usually have a figure in their head that they are willing to drop to given certain circumstances. Again, look at the nearby sold prices for similar houses in the area and use their sold prices as a guideline for your initial offer.

  7. Don’t get carried away!

    Finally, buying your first house can be a very exciting time and you can’t wait to start your life in your new home. However, don’t get caught up in all the excitement and make a mistake you can’t go back on, make sure you have taken everything into account and that you are 100% certain this is the right move for you.