Buying your first property is said to be more difficult than ever; a lack of properties to choose from, high prices and stiff competition are all factors that can leave you with a real headache. There are, however, steps that you can take that will make the experience a happy and memorable one.
It is paramount to have all of your financial concerns worked out before you do anything else. Start by addressing the issue of a deposit, if you’re lucky enough to have been able to save a significant deposit, then count your blessings, if not then consider your options. It may be the case that a family member or close friend can lend you the money for a deposit at a really low interest rate or interest free. This is a great option, but make sure both parties are very clear when it comes to the terms, write them down and stick to them to avoid future conflict. Securing a deposit by taking out a bank loan or by using a credit card, should be considered carefully as both are subject to charges and having to do this may indicate that you should wait a while and save some money or downsize your expectations.
Finding a suitable mortgage is the next logical step to take. The good news is that there are lots of great deals to be found for first time buyers, companies like Saffron Building Society specialise in helping first time buyers, they require as little as a 5% deposit and have competitive interest rates. Making sure you get a great mortgage deal and don’t overstretch yourself in terms of borrowing is crucial to buying your first home stress-free.
Bear in mind, when calculating your finances, that there are several other costs you’ll need to pay, solicitors fees and the like all need to be factored in to the equation.
Once you have your finances in order, the exciting part of the process can begin, you have to go out and find a home. This should be an enjoyable experience and so be realistic to ensure it doesn’t stress you out. Do your research, look in areas that you like and that are practical for you, but not in areas you are unlikely to be able to afford. Only consider properties that meet your basic requirements, such as size, access to transport links, parking, proximity to amenities and remember that your first home is just that, your first home, and it’s unlikely to be your “dream home”.
Home Sweet Home
Once you have found a property you like, it’s time to “make an offer”. Most prospective buyers will offer under the listed asking price and wait for a response and this will be accepted, rejected or a counter-offer will be made. Most people don’t get the first home they make an offer on, so don’t worry if you don’t. Remain calm and carry on regardless, but do make sure that you stay realistic about your expectations. The last thing you want is to end up in a situation where you lose out time and time again.
Taking a realistic, sensible and positive approach to buying your first home can see you completing the process in a matter of months and having suffered very little or indeed no stress. Good luck!