Whether you are looking for your first home, upsizing, downsizing or a buy-to let investment we are here to help! We have compiled a list of some of our top tips for buying:
Your outgoings when buying a house aren’t limited to the deposit, so it is important to take into consideration the other costs involved with purchasing a property when deciding your budget such as stamp duty, survey reports, conveyancing and removal costs.
Searching for a new home will always be exciting, and it can be tempting to search for your dream home when your current property is not yet on the market. It is important to not get carried away and fall in love with a house before you have a buyer, or you may lose out on the house of your dreams to someone with the funds already available.
It will almost always be more lucrative to sell your house before you buy, but it can be complicated. It is easier for a first time buyer to buy a house, as they're only dealing with one transaction.
Before buying a house, you need to get an ‘agreement in principle’. This is a confirmation in writing stating how much your lender is prepared to lend you to buy a property. Having an ‘agreement in principle’ organised may give you an advantage over other potential buyers as sellers will know you are a serious buyer and have the necessary finances, giving you the best chance of securing the house you have made an offer on.
Not only this, getting an idea of how much a mortgage lender is prepared to let you borrow will give you an indication of the maximum budget you should have for your house search.
Fully research the area you are interested in buying in. Think carefully about the things you need and the things you would like, such as good local schools, transport links, green spaces, shops etc. Research the types of properties that are available in your price range and be realistic about your expectations.
Try to be as flexible as possible when it comes to viewing times. Evenings and weekends may be best for you, but possibly not the seller. It might be worth taking a day or two off work and lining up multiple viewings. Be punctual for all your appointments, otherwise you risk missing your slot and annoying the seller, who is likely to have gone to some effort to get the property ready for you.
View the property three or four times and do so at different times of the day, so you get a real feel for what it is like.
After the viewing, be sure to give the estate agent some honest feedback. That way, they get a better idea of what you will and won't accept. Keep an open mind though; very often, people end up buying something that is very different to the 'dream' home they imagined.
When you make an offer, make sure you let the estate agent know your position, like how flexible you can be on moving dates and whether or not you have a mortgage offer.
If you really love the property, try not to make very low offers that will no doubt be refused. You could end up annoying the seller and this might make future negotiations that bit harder.
Book a survey as soon as your offer is accepted. These can take a few days and you want to keep the process moving.
Although it's an additional cost when you're already throwing money about left right and centre, a survey could identify any serious problems with the property and ultimately end up saving you thousands.
Try to avoid moving on a Friday. The roads tend to be busier and removal firms often charge more because Fridays are the most popular time to move. If you can, take some time off work and move mid-week
On moving day, make sure you have a box with all the essentials like milk, teabags, coffee and loo roll close to hand.