Ten Top Tips for first time buyers
Detailed advice from a professional is always the best way to find out more about the buying process. Here at Crucible we’re proud to offer free advice to First Time Buyers looking for a bit more knowledge about the property market, however, the list below offers a general look at the process and offers some basic information for those starting out on the property ladder.
- What’s my budget? In the past lenders have offered around 3 or 3½ times the borrower’s salary (around 2½ times on joint earnings). Wages are not the deciding factor in affording a mortgage and it is vital that you get the expert advice from an independent mortgage advisor who will help to show you how much you can borrow, what deposit you will need to save and what all the costs will be. Ideally this is the first step to take as it gives you a much better idea of what properties you can then view.
- Knowledge is power Research the area, the schools, the amenities as well as things like public transport links, crime rates and potential resale values when you outgrow your first home. Local residents (if you know any) are a brilliant source of information.
- Use Mum and Dad. Parents (and family/friends) can offer advice based on real experience and this can prove invaluable to a First Time Buyer who has little (or no) knowledge of how the property market works.
- Don’t stretch yourselves too far. Remember that it is not simply the mortgage to pay each month. First time buyers, particularly those who have been living at home with parents, are sometimes taken by surprise by the other costs that need to be taken into account when you own your own place – heat, light, telephone, council tax…calculate the likely ongoing costs of these items before finalising the maximum price you will pay for your first home.
- Look at a selection before making a decision. Your mortgage is not your only cost. You must consider your utility bills, insurances and ongoing maintenance when budgeting for a house purchase to avoid getting into a situation where you are short each month.
- Try and have a shortlist of properties. Rather than put all your eggs in one basket and then having to deal with the heartache of losing out to someone else it’s worth having a plan b. Make sure you view them more than once to make sure you know as much as possible about the properties themselves as well as the area. Try speaking to some of the neighbours to get a good feel for the location you’re about to commit too.
- Making the offer. Offer what you feel is sensible and take advice on this if necessary. The asking price is exactly that, an asking price. You do not have to offer this amount, especially if it seems over priced or needs work. The agent will put your offer to the vendor and ask for proof of your mortgage and any deposit you have.
- What happens if your offer is rejected? Take a moment to reflect. Is the property still definitely the one you want? If so, and you think it’s fair; a small increase in your offer should not make a massive difference to your monthly outgoings. If you feel your offer is fair and the vendors are not willing to negotiate then it’s time to move on and consider other properties on your list.
- Your offer is accepted. What next? You will need to appoint a solicitor to handle what is called the ‘conveyancing’ process. Whereby your solicitor progresses the sale from it being agreed to it completing where you become the legal owner. The estate agent may offer to refer you to a solicitor but you DO NOT have to accept. Make sure you shop around to get the best deal you can.
- Conveyancing can take several months. Therefore it is very important that you respond to any correspondence swiftly and as accurately as possible. Your conveyancer should keep you updated as the process unfolds and explain what you need to do and when you need to do it by. Then, before you know it, you will be collecting the keys for your first ever home and moving in.
For more detailed advice please call our friendly team on 0114 2413430 or call in to one of our offices in Sheffield or Rotherham.