Our simple steps to buying your first home, hopefully helping you to demystify the process and help you feel more in control.
Being a first time buyer can be daunting, feeling like you don’t know the processes involved mixed with a mass of emotions and excitement at getting on the first rung of the property ladder.
If this sounds like you now or soon to be then we have put together this short piece to outline the steps and the basics you need to do.
Follow this advice and buying your first home will be as stress free as can be and we will have you looking forward to your new home.
When buying your first home you can’t choose your agency, you’re stuck with whichever agency the vendor has chosen. However there are things you can do to help the buying process. Get to know the area’s estate agencies. Call in, say ‘Hi’ and give them a run down of what your ideal home would be, you never know to whom they have just spoken.
Estate agencies get lots of enquiries from prospective vendors checking out if they’re the right agency to sell with. They maybe trying to sell the the exact house of your dreams, a fact no one would know if you hadn’t gone in to chat.
It also means that they can point you at suitable properties already on their books. A good agent can also talk with you about your dream home and tailor your expectations. You may have your heart set on a 6 bed detached property with pool in Bamford for £30,000, the agent has the best knowledge to help you avoid disappointment.
Equally they may point you at an area you hadn’t considered because the properties are on budget and there are many of the type you require.
And don’t feel, because you are new at this, that you are wasting their time, this is what they do and they know that if they make a good impression on you and maybe when you come to trade up your house you will look to them to sell it.
In the current climate very few first time buyers are cash buyers so you’re probably going to need a mortgage. You will need to get your mortgage offer, at least in principle [usually up to a maximum the lender will offer], before you start looking and certainly before putting in an offer on a property. You can put an offer on a property without having a mortgage in place but having a mortgage offer always smooths the process and if you end up in a ‘bidding war’ with another buyer, having a mortgage in place may swing it in your favour.
You will also need to provide documentation and information about your financial situation, including outgoings, spending habits and dependants. For a full list of what you need to get your mortgage with the minimum fuss click here.
We can help you with a mortgage here at Reside, so always worth calling in for a chat for advice as well as registering your interest in looking for a property.
Time to make an offer
So now that you have found that your special place its time to make an offer. You don’t have to offer the asking price so it’s time to do a little research if you can. What have similar properties gone for? How is the market at present? has the house been on the market for a while? Using this information you can judge whether you are going to offer the asking price to ensure you get it or put a cheeky offer in at first?
Once you put the offer to the agent they are legally required to put the offer to the vendor in writing. However in practice, before they do this they will often call the vendor to get a speedier response. Hopefully the vendor will accept your cheeky offer and take the property off the market.
Of course the friendly, professional team at Reside will help guide you through the process, we are here to make it easy for people to buy and sell houses.
Your offer is accepted!!
Yay! You can relax now, from here on in it is mainly procedural and an awful lot of paperwork. For the best reasons acquiring a house is a very legal process. You are dealing with large amounts of money – for both parties – it is probably the largest single purchase anyone of us will make, so care is necessary.
It’s not just having an offer accepted then heading off to IKEA, you have to deal with deeds and the mortgage and lots of other stuff. Here is the point where we recommend you use another professional and instruct a solicitor. They can represent you throughout the process, deal with legalities and often help you avoid any pitfalls.
Get a solicitor. When buying your first home there will be a pile of legal paperwork and the best advice is to leave it to the legal professionals. You still need to check contracts and the like before you sign. However, you should be safe in the knowledge that from a legal standpoint your solicitor has done everything to protect you and your interests.
Your solicitor is going to check for claims on the house, other building plans etc that may effect your quality of life or future value of your property.
Get a survey
There are three types of survey and you will be required as a condition of your mortgage to get one of them. Which you choose is usually down to your choice and the type and age of the property you are buying.
The three types are: Condition report, Homebuyer report and Building/Structural survey. They go up in cost and detail of the report. Often people buying a new or nearly new home opt for the Condition report and those buying an older or less standard home invest in the Building/Structural survey.
One thing the second and third reports do is possibly give you some leverage on price with the vendor. If they pull up work that will need doing you can use that as a bargaining point to get the value of the house reduced to cover the future costs. However the main reason is to highlight any problems or failings with the property either current or will cause a problem in the near future.
Your surveyor and solicitor will tell you when they have completed what they need to this point and that you are okay to go ahead and sign and exchange contract. You will be asked for a deposit at this point, often 10-20% of the agreed price.
This means that both parties are locked into the sale at this point. If either party now backs out you could lose your deposit and you will still have to pay the professional services fees owed to your solicitor and surveyor.
And it’s all over! You have completed, you have the keys, you have the deeds, the property is yours, you’ve successfully navigate buying your first home! However, there will still be more fees to pay; solicitors, conveyancing, stamp duty [a British Government tax on property] will all need paying and are usually arranged by your solicitor.
You will also need to have paid the remaining balance of the property – the difference between your deposit and the final agreed price – which again should be organised between your legal people and the mortgage lender.
Now the fun starts!
If you’re looking for buying your first home please call in for a chat and a coffee or click here to see the new properties we have listed.