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First-Time Home Buyers Guide

Buying a house as a first-time buyer is a very exciting and happy time however, it can also feel incredibly daunting. There are many things to consider and lots of big decisions to make, but this should not stop you from enjoying the move.
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Buying a house as a first-time buyer is a very exciting and happy time however, it can also feel incredibly daunting. There are many things to consider and lots of big decisions to make, but this should not stop you from enjoying the move. To help you along the way we thought we would share our conveyancing knowledge to make your first-buy a simple, stress free, purchase.

How to get on the Property Ladder?

First things first, before you begin your search for the perfect home, you must start saving towards a deposit to be able to secure your new home. When doing this it is best to have an idea of how much the house you want to buy is worth. The easiest way to get an estimated price is by researching homes that are available in the area you would like to live.

Once you have an estimated price of the house you would like to live in, you can figure out how much of a deposit you will need. Generally, home buyers save between 5% and 20% of the asking price of the house. For example, if you were buying a house costing £150,000, you would need to save at least £7,500. The more of a deposit you save, the easier it will be to apply for a wider range of cheaper mortgages. The average deposit for first time buyers is 20% this will put buyers in a better position when applying for their first mortgage.

Getting the right Mortgage

Once you have figured out how much of a deposit you will need and have begun searching for your perfect property, you can begin to think about the type of mortgage you want. It is often helpful to secure a mortgage with a lender before you have even found a property. Although this may seem counterproductive, it shows sellers and estate agents that you have serious intentions to buy, which could help speed up the purchasing process for when you do find your perfect house.

When choosing a mortgage as a first-time buyer one of the most important things to consider is how much you can afford to spend each month. We advise all home-buyers to calculate a budget of their outgoings, and consider any circumstantial changes that may develop in the future, for example, having children. There are dozens of online mortgage availability calculators that can help you work out a budget based on your salary and outgoings. Becoming fully aware of your financial situation and sticking to a budget will prevent you from wrongly committing to a large mortgage that you’ll struggle to pay back each month.

Now you have a ballpark figure of the type of mortgage you can afford, you can contact a mortgage lender. Lenders will complete their own checks including a ‘stress test’ to determine the type of mortgage you can afford, to complete this lenders will need proof of ID, evidence of earnings, proof of address and copies of bank statements. ‘Stress tests’ are designed to check ability to make sure payments can still be made even if circumstances were to change, such as, unexpected redundancy or children.

Stop and think before you buy. Even if you are absolutely certain you have found the perfect house, there are key things you should consider before making an offer, such as:

  • Could you negotiate the asking price? Consider asking why the seller is in such a hurry to sell, this may mean there is room to negotiate;
  • Try and view the house at different times of the day, this will help you get better awareness of the area and neighbourhood;
  • Consider a specialist to check the plumbing and heating of the house;
  • Ask the seller about utility bills and council tax;
  • Check behind furniture for signs of damp;
  • Take measurements in rooms to ensure your furniture will fit.

Finally, how to seal the deal For most people, making an offer on a house is the biggest investment they will ever make, and also the biggest expense. It is important to feel rest-assured that your transaction will be in safe hands, that’s why consulting a conveyancing solicitor is absolutely essential. All you want is to be in your new home, and it is a conveyancer’s job to make that happen as swiftly and as smoothly as possible.

We have an excellent team of conveyancers at Phillips Green & Murphy who are members of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme – the mark of excellence for the home buying process. For more information on the services we can offer you, contact us on 01792 468684.

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