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5 top tips for a first-time buyer – and someone you’d never think to talk to when buying a house

Limestone Sales & Lettings Office Manager Paul Neale talks tips and advantages for first time buyers to consider, and ways to save yourself from unwanted fees and other financial issues.

Buying a house for the first time is something everyone faces at some point and is undoubtedly becoming more demanding and competitive. In the first half of this year, first-time buyers purchased 985,000 single-family homes, which breaks the record since 2005. Within the second half, 512,000 houses were sold, which is a 1% increase compared to last year. However, in overall home sales there has been a decrease, which has led to an increase in interest rates and home prices; this means for first time buyers the monthly mortgage payments have risen by 12.6% year over year. Within this blog, you will learn the best ways to safely and efficiently purchase your first house.

 

  1. If you are interested in a house, be quick and stay up to date-

This may seem like a simple thing, but if you are interested in placing an offer or viewing a house then be sure to be quick to contact the seller; if you don’t, you will risk losing out. The kind of things that could cause this problem is things such as the house getting a high amount of offers and therefore all showings would be cancelled; this could happen in as little as a day, so make sure to avoid this.

  1. Keeping housing money in one account-

If you are buying alone you will have a bank account for housing anyways, but if you are a moving out with your other half or just a friend this in the long run makes your life as buyers a whole lot easier. With putting down deposits it means big money, and that’s hard enough to deal with; you don’t need the bank asking for proof of where the money has come from via statements every time you and your partner must transfer money to one account for the housing (which is something the bank will do). Setting up a joint account will save you this hassle and will allow with easy and clarified savings.

 

  1. If you are currently renting, keep your Landlord in the know-

The last thing you need is problems with your current Landlord while you’re trying to branch out and get away from the renting life. However, you will face problems if you don’t keep them up to date, such as if you plan to move out before your contract ends you could face an early termination fee, which could knock you back in your fund for a house. If the landlord is aware then you may be able to come to a sort of agreement and avoid these fees.

 

  1. Document everything in writing-

If you discuss something with the seller’s agent such as keeping appliances in the house like a microwave, washing machine etc. or discuss minor fixtures that the seller will do on your behalf such as changing light bulbs then it is important to not only agree to these things face to face but to also write it down, date it and sign it from all parties, in case for example you go for your final viewing and the things you agreed to are not in place for you, you can take these written documents to your attorney and get what you have agreed to. If you face any issues and there is no evidence of them being discussed, then your attorney can do nothing for you.

 

  1. Finalise a closing date as early as you can –

By this point, you are pretty settled on the house you are going to buy, but that doesn’t mean it is time to relax just yet. There may be factors that you consider before settling a closing date, such as having a month or so left on your renting contract, but if you do not settle a date as soon as you can, you could face charges such as an increase in interest rate, which is something that could be avoided if you locked in a date sooner. Another thing to consider with your bank is a courtesy extension, which means that if there is something that delays you moving in when you should, such as delayed paperwork, it covers you from fees for moving in later than agreed.

 
Pro tip- someone to consider:

It is easy to get caught up only in the financial side of house buying, and it is easy to forget that your home is your personal place. As important as it is to keep up contact with the seller’s agent, the bank and your landlord, you would also benefit from simply talking to a neighbour within your new area. Whether you catch them on your house viewings or driving through the area it is super handy to talk to someone first hand about where you’re about to live. Consider asking, what are the people in the community like? Are there any local events within your area? What are your local councillors, headteachers, doctors like? Remember to take this information with a pinch of salt, as it should work only to give you an idea of the area, and once settled you will enjoy that area differently to your neighbour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is important for you to consider all these points and will make house hunting and buying a little easier on your long journey to a successful home.

 

For more tips like these and to get the best price for your property, contact the team on 01908 234 111 or email us at info@limestonemk.co.uk