5 top tips for first-time buyers
It’s easy to get carried away with all the excitement of buying your first home and the temptation is there to go for the first place you like without thinking the process through.
Being a first-time buyer brings unique challenges.
Here are the Fairview Financial top tips to help you through the process of buying your first home.
1. Know your financial ceiling
Houses do not come cheap, nor do mortgages and bills. Before you even start to book house viewings, make sure you have a strict budget in place for your monthly outgoings. Is there anywhere you can save a little extra?
It’s important to know early on in the buying journey how much of a deposit you can afford. Often, this is 5% of the property price but can be more in some cases. Then of course, there’s the mortgage to consider – how much can you realistically afford to pay each month and still live comfortably?
Talking of mortgages…
2. Examine all your mortgage options
Banks and mortgage lenders will ask you a host of questions about your income and expenditure to check how eligible you are for their mortgages – it’s important to be honest here and have a detailed breakdown of your finances.
A ‘mortgage in principle’ is a term you’ll probably hear a lot when buying a property. In short, this means that a bank or mortgage lender would be willing to provide a mortgage after carrying out checks and asking questions. And it will make you look more favourable to sellers and estate agents as you’ll appear serious and credible.
Be careful though – sending out multiple applications to see what sort of payments you’d be looking at can harm your credit rating. It’s better to speak to an independent mortgage advisor who knows the whole of the market and who will find the most competitive rate.
3. Time to go shopping
Now for the fun part – actually looking for a property! Keep your budget firmly in mind and try to be as specific as you can with online searches.
Doing your homework is essential for finding a property at the right price. Take a look at the house prices for the region you’re looking in – they can change dramatically even in the same city – and what the average is for the type of property you have in mind.
It’s also worth shopping around for the best deals on things like energy and broadband sooner rather than later; these are the smaller outgoings which soon add up and where you can save money.
4. Don’t be afraid of asking for help
You’re probably thinking, ‘this sounds like a lot to take in’. But there is help available for first-time buyers. There are several government and lending schemes available to help you onto the housing ladder, such as the Help to Buy scheme. You can even buy your property with friends or family to help spread the costs.
Asking for advice also extends to the mortgage. There’s so much you need to consider with mortgages so get as much advice as you can from your advisor about what you can afford and the type of mortgage which suits your situation.
5. Make the most of your visits!
Finally, once you’ve found a property that you like and which is within your budget, arrange a viewing. Note down, or better still photograph, as much as you can and ask questions if anything feels out of place. This is your opportunity to see if the property is the one for you.
You might want to arrange multiple viewings to ensure that you don’t miss anything. And if you’re still uncertain about anything, bring someone with you as a neutral pair of eyes.
Welcome to your dream home!
HOW FAIRVIEW FINANCIAL CAN HELP FIRST-TIME BUYERS
At Fairview Financial, our independent mortgage advisors are here to make the process of buying your first home as smooth as possible. Speak to us on 01242 697821 or click here to request a call back to learn more about our first-time buyer mortgages or first-time buyer schemes.