If you’re looking to buy your first place, it’s important that you know what’s in store! Buying a home can be a hugely rewarding experience – but there are some common mistakes that you need to avoid…
A lot of first-time buyers think of buying a house as the same as renting, but with the added bonus that you can own a house once you have paid your mortgage off. It’s important not to think like this!
If you haven’t already, make a list of all your monthly outgoings – that’s including groceries, credit card payments, vehicle costs, and Netflix. Set some money aside for the odd drink after work too! The money you have left will have to cover mortgage payments and the ongoing costs of running your home, which will give you an idea of what you can afford.
But don’t forget the added costs that come with buying a house: solicitor fees, getting a survey, stamp duty, a deposit, a removal company (if you can’t do it yourself), buildings insurance, ongoing maintenance costs, council tax, bills… it all adds up! Make sure you can afford all this well before entering the process.
Not getting a survey
Many home buyers are guilty of relying on mortgage valuations carried out by the lender – this is very unwise as mortgage valuations are not thorough reports that will identify all defects in a home. Home buyer Reports and Building Surveys, however, work in your favour and will report any defects – this will give you all the information you will need to make an informed decision about any repairs that may be needed.
Not getting pre-approved
Pre-approval is carried out by a lender, and is an evaluation of a potential buyer that will determine whether they qualify for a mortgage. This will mean that it’s unlikely you’ll be refused a mortgage when you need one later in the process. Just make sure you have a good credit score! We have access to independent mortgage advisors who will be able to help you do all of this - get in touch for more info!
Being overly picky
If you’ve ever watched Location, Location, Location, you’ll know that when it comes to house-hunting, compromise is very important! It’s unlikely that you’ll find a place in your ideal location, with the right number of bedrooms, a gorgeous exterior, and all the other things you want at the right price.
Compromising on crucial factors
Following on from the point above, although you should compromise on less important aspects of your dream home, if there’s something you desperately want, don’t allow yourself to give up on it if it will cause you grief in the future. For example, if you want kids in the near future, don’t sacrifice that extra bedroom for the right location. If you work from home and need your own space, don’t sacrifice a little office space for a garden you won’t use. Pick and choose what you can compromise on carefully.
We always advise buyers to write down the ten things they want in their new home and from this list choose the five things that you absolutely have to have! This will then help you to understand what you can compromise on.
Only seeing what’s in front of you
When viewing a property, it’s hugely unlikely that it’s going to look like a home you could settle down in straight away. Remember that it might take some work to get it how you want – have some vision when house-hunting and go in with an open mind. Try and imagine the property with all your possessions in it – it’s unbelievable how different properties once you’ve changed up the décor. So try and look past those faded carpets and the old-fashioned wallpaper!
Looking for a house that’s as good as it’ll get
Always try to find somewhere that you can add value to – especially if you’re a first time buyer. Whether that’s by modernising it a bit or building an extension, buy a property that has room for growth. If you know you will be moving on in the future, adding value will help you to move up the property ladder.
Not checking out the neighbourhood
There are some things you should be considering if you’re moving to a new area, or even an unfamiliar street. Are the neighbours nice? Is there a pub close enough to be your new local? Are there any major building works coming up? (Is the lovely park across the street becoming an office block soon?) Many people care more about either the property or the location – if you are more interested in the property of your dreams than its location, it’s still wise to scope out the area.