First time buyer need-to-knows
While getting the keys to your first place is super exciting, the road to get there can be a long and winding one.
First-time buyers often find themselves overwhelmed with the process as there are so many moving parts, endless acronyms and people to keep track of. But luckily there are a few need-to-knows that can help make the experience smoother.
First and foremost, it’s crucial to have a handle on your budget. This involves getting a full picture of your finances – warts and all. When you review them, take a look at your income, savings and expenses. By seeing how much you can afford to spend on a home from the outset, you can narrow down your options and avoid the heartbreak of falling in love with a property that’s out of your price range. This also means you’ll avoid the trap of buying more ‘house’ than you can afford.
There are a few government-backed options that are specially designed to help first-time buyers get onto the property ladder. For example Lifetime ISAs, the First Homes scheme, the 95% mortgage guarantee scheme, and Shared Ownership schemes.
Doing your research into the housing market is also key. Familiarise yourself with the neighbourhoods you’re interested in, the average home prices, and the market conditions you’ll be facing. All of this will help you make informed decisions and could help you negotiate better deals.
Another thing to be aware of is the costs that come with buying a home. Aside from the monthly mortgage repayments, there’s other costs to think about like the mortgage deposit, stamp duty, conveyancing or solicitors’ fees, survey costs, mortgage broker fees, moving costs, and potential repair or renovation costs if you’re buying a fixer-upper. So you’ll need to make room in your budget for all of these costs on top of your monthly payments. You can read more about the costs of getting a mortgage here.
With the right amount of research and preparation, you can be confident on your journey to buying your first home.