Top Ten Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Every time you move house, you learn something new that helps the next time.  For that first time, it can be a little daunting knowing what to do, when to do it and how everything works. You can ask advice from friends and family but their stories may differ, so speak to an estate agent to really get the best information. To help you get started, we’ve got ten tips for first-time home buyers so you have an idea of what’s coming.

Work out your budget

As with so many things in life, money plays an important part in moving house. You’ll need to work out what you can afford and over what period as there’s more than just the mortgage to consider. You have transportation costs, agent fees, surveys and even some travelling to do.

Even when you move in to your new home, you may want to redecorate, renovate or buy new furniture, for example. This all adds up and knowing what you can afford beforehand helps.

Look at the different schemes and mortgage options

Getting on the property ladder has been a hot topic in the news for the last couple of years. It’s not as easy as it used to be get a deposit together for a lot of families. To try and alleviate that, there are a number of schemes introduced by the government to help first-time buyers make that step, from ‘help-to-buy’ to smaller deposits and more. Do some research into what’s available and find out if they’ll be of use to you.

Research the areas you’re interested in

If you know exactly where you want to live – great! Get looking for properties in the area.

If you’re not sure, research a few options and find out more about them. Are they suitable for you? Do they have houses you want within your budget? Can you live the life you want there?

These are important questions to ask and lead us to the next tip.

Visit the areas yourself

The internet and social media are great tools to find out information – both from official sources and real people – but it can’t give you a true sense of feeling. For that, you need to visit the area yourself. How is the atmosphere? Do you get a good vibe? What can you tell about the community? These questions can help you make a definitive choice about where you want to live.

Speak to local estate agents

Local knowledge is incredibly important. While you can ask locals about the area, you might not see anyone depending when you visit. Even if you do, they might not have time to talk.

Speak to a local estate agent. They will know the area very well and will take the time to fill in any gaps you have. It’s also a great opportunity to see what properties are available and maybe arrange some bookings, so this is very useful.

Have an idea of the kind of house you want

Any ideas and thoughts you had from the outset will be useful here. The type of house you want, and the area you’re looking at, will give you an idea of the cost. You can now reflect on your budget and whether things are looking right. Don’t feel pressured, though. Do what’s right and best for you.

Understand the buying process

This isn’t an easy one, especially the first time. There are so many steps and processes involved that even veterans can get confused. An estate agent will be able to help with everything, including explaining what’s happening to you. Do some reading yourself and do ask questions – we like it, honest!

Making an offer

Once you’ve found the right house, viewed it and evaluated it, it’s time to make an offer. You will be able to find out from your agent the asking price but depending on the competition and the work that needs to be done, you can go higher or lower. This is another example of where local and expert knowledge will be of huge benefit to you.

Preparing for the move

After having an offer accepted and everything coming back good and sorted, it’s time to start planning the actual move. How much do you have to bring? How will you do it? Is it a long distance? Can anyone help? Are removal companies good value? This is right time to think about it.

Keep saving

After all is said and done, you’re in your new home. Congratulations!

It’s not over, however. There will always be things you want to do down the line and if the time comes to move to a bigger home, that’s going to cost more. Save what you can and it’ll make things easier for you later on.

Do you have any tips for first-time buyers? Let us know!