One of the most shared dreams in life is becoming a homeowner, but in this day and age, very few people actually achieve this dream due to rising house costs, low wages, and inability to save large deposits for the kind of property that they are after. However, if you are in the minority that has managed to get to a stage where you’re about to become a homeowner – congratulations! Now for the hard part. Yes, that’s right, the hard part. Unfortunately, buying your own home involves more than simply putting down a deposit on a property that you like and being approved for a mortgage, so take a look at these things to know before buying your very first home!
Investigate ideal mortgage rates
The very first thing that you should be doing is taking a look at the general price you’ll be expecting to pay on the kind of property you’re after. So, if you’re looking for a smaller property, depending on the size of your deposit, you can expect to pay a much smaller monthly payment than if you were to say, buy a five bed home in the middle of London. Work out what you can afford comfortably so that a little ways down the line you’re not regretting your decision and strapped for cash.
Check out if you owe stamp duty
What? You’ve never heard of it? Well neither have I to be honest. Stamp duty is tax that’s put onto the purchase of every property bought in England and Northern Ireland, and if your home is worth more than £125,000, you can expect to pay tax on it too. Check out how much the stamp duty on the property you’re after will be so that you’re not landed with an extra few grand to fork out for unexpectedly.
Keep an eye on your credit report – and change it for the better
Many people avoid checking their credit report in fear that they won’t understand the jargon that’s thrown at them by all of the companies that offer credit checks. However, in recent years, credit report companies have worked hard on making it easier for their consumers to understand the score that they have been given. A bad credit score might appear even if you’ve never been in debt. The way it works is they take all of your incoming money and outgoings into consideration alongside any finance you’ve taken out on cars, loans, or even your contract mobile phone. They will then work out how trustworthy you are to lenders. So, if you’ve never taken out a loan or a contract mobile phone, you’ll have no credit history; meaning that lenders won’t be able to trust you when it comes to applying for that mortgage you’re so desperately after. You can check your credit report for free (and free forever) at Clear Score and once they have your result, they will offer you easy and professional advice on how to improve your report. The sooner that you can check your credit report and change it for the better, the sooner you will be able to apply for a mortgage. If you’ve always been good with your money and you’ve successfully taken out finance without any hitches, then look forward to a gleaming report with still some tips on how to make it better!
If you’re still having credit trouble, you can choose to apply for financing through lenders like Primary Residential Mortgage who works with government backed options for home purchases.
Know exactly what you want
This seems like a bit of a funny one, but you need to know exactly what you want from a property before even considering viewing it. If you’re going down the route of an estate agent, make a list of the different features that you will require in your new home in order from absolutely essential to desirable. This will help them locate homes for you to save you time and money too. Knowing exactly what you want regardless of using an estate agent is also important so that you don’t end up regretting buying the home that you’re in a few months down the line. Remember to check out neighbourhood statistics, local amenities, and also the rights for planning permission incase you wish to extend in the future.
Consider a surveyor
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they are in the process of buying a home is skipping out on paying for a surveyor on a property that they are particularly keen on. While it’s understandable that you’re trying to save as much money as possible, it’s a good idea to dip into your pockets for this expense. Having a surveyor will allow you to be extra satisfied with the home that you’re buying and again, avoid any regrets later down the road. A surveyor will be able to tell you everything that could do with improving in the home that you’re about to buy so that you’re able to make an informed decision on your purchase.
Learn how to haggle
Speaking of conveyors, if yours has picked up something wrong with the property that you’ve fallen in love with, now is the perfect time to haggle down the price with the current owners. Take a little time to learn a few skills in haggling so that you can bring the price down to a much more agreeable amount; meaning you can afford the repairs that need doing.
Alternatively, if you generally think that the price of the property is a little too high for you, then consider haggling here too because most homeowners will have put their home on the market for more than it’s actually worth so that they can make profit (I mean come on, who wouldn’t?).
Measure your prospective home
Finally, another blunder that you don’t want to run into is buying what you think is the perfect property for you, to find that none of your furniture fits nicely inside. Consider what your future plans are too when you’re measuring like will you have a baby in this home and could you fit everything a baby needs comfortably? Or maybe you want to turn your spare room into an office – make sure everything will fit!!
Use these tips before buying your first home so that you’re not left empty pocketed and full of regret. Good luck with becoming a homeowner!