Looking to buy your first property can be an exciting time. However, it is also mixed with a level of high anxiety and worry. There is a lot to learn as a first-time buyer, mainly because you don't know how highly competitive the housing market is, and how difficult it can be for a first-time buyer to get their foot on the property ladder.
Preparing yourself well in advance is the best way to get into a good position when starting the house buying process. Sometimes you will need to fight for the property you want, especially if there is a lot of competition coming from other buyers.
A lot of first-time buyers need to learn to become competitive and even ruthless if they don't want the perfect property to slip through their fingers. This all starts with knowing your financial position and understanding exactly how much money you have to play with.
Getting the right financial advice
Buying your first home isn't as simple as finding the right property and offering a figure you think you can afford. The first step to providing a competitive offer is to find out precisely what you can afford and which mortgage type will be the best for you.
You may have squirrelled away money for a deposit, but there is often a misconception about the level of deposit needed to secure a mortgage and the type of mortgage that would meet your needs.
If you want to put in a competitive yet realistic offer, it is important to get a mortgage agreement in place. This will also show the estate agent and the seller that you are ready to go and in a very favourable position compared to a prospective buyer sitting in a housing chain.
Go local for the best advice and help
The main benefit of working with a well-respected local estate agent is the local knowledge they have about the local housing market. A local agent will be in the best position to help you find a perfect property and support you throughout the entire house buying process.
It can help you to find out what the selling prices are in the area you are interested in. Look at what price similar properties have sold for over the past year or so, and this will give you a realistic idea about what sort of offer you should be making.
A local estate agent will have a lot of insight into what properties sell well in the area and what people are looking for in a property. It can help to discuss your needs with your agent so that they can show you the properties on their books that best fit your needs.
Remember that what you may need today and for the next couple of years may not be the same five or ten years down the line. If you want to move closer to work or plan to start a family and move to an area with good schools, all these things need to be considered when choosing your property.
View properties with a critical eye
What could be more exciting than going out to view what could be your new home? The thought that you could be setting foot for the very first time into a place that will soon belong to you can make your heart skip a beat.
However, don't let your heart rule your head when viewing potential properties for the first time. Even if you feel like you are walking around your dream property, take a moment to ground yourself and cast a critical eye over those finer details that you may be willing to overlook right now.
You may want to jump right in with the maximum amount you can offer to secure your new home, but what about the fact that the double glazing has seen better days and needs replacing? The central heating boiler is how old? What about the conservatory that is obviously leaking?
You may love the feel of the place, but maxing out your budget on an offer may be short-sighted when the property needs a lot of TLC that will quickly add up to thousands of pounds.
Try to stay focused and put in a competitive yet sensible offer that will allow you some elbow room to buy the place and afford to address the most urgent issues that will need attending to when you move in.
If you are looking for your first home, we will be happy to discuss your requirements. Please do get in touch here.
Alternatively, you can view our current listing here.