1. Get a mortgage in principle
We understand, it gets repetitive when every estate agent is offering to introduce you to their recommended mortgage broker. The truth is, until you have spoken to a broker, there is no point enquiring about a property.
Mortgage brokers can be incredibly useful. They’ll help you find out what your affordability is, check for other fees that might come up, and make sure you aren’t wasting your time by viewing the wrong types of properties.
2. Have a realistic time frame
It can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months to find the property that’s just right for you. Even when you’ve found the one, it can take weeks or even months for the sale to move to exchange of contracts. Plan accordingly, and make sure you don’t put yourself in a position where you could end up without anywhere to live.
3. Get a Home Buyer's Survey done
It’s likely you will need to pay for a valuation survey so the lender will give you a mortgage on the property. Our advice is that it’s always worth paying a bit extra to get a Home Buyer's Survey as well. This a non-intrusive visual inspection, in which your surveyor will inspect visible areas of the property to report on it’s condition and highlight any defects.
4. Meet the neighbours
Most of us have experienced a bothersome neighbour. Unfortunately there is no way of knowing what your neighbours are really going to be like before you move in. Having said that, you can always knock on their door to say hello, see what they are like, and ask about the other neighbours. This might help you get a feel for your potential new neighbours.
5. A solicitor can make or break your purchase
It’s amazing how many people will spend over £500,000 on a property, and then try to save £500 on a solicitor. This is likely one of the biggest purchases of your life, and the solicitor you choose plays a huge role in making it happen.
One of the biggest regrets we hear from buyers and sellers is not having chosen a better solicitor; whether due to a lack of communication, not being proactive enough, or simply not having one point of contact to ensure each step of the process is completed efficiently.
6. Keep some funds available
Whether it be for home repairs, extra furniture or additional fees, don’t push yourself beyond your limit. Moving home always costs more than you initially expect. Don’t add unnecessary stress by not being prepared – make sure you have additional funds available for when you need them.
7. There is no such thing as a silly question
Most people only go through the process of buying a home a couple of times in their lifetime. Estate agents, mortgage brokers, and solicitors, on the other hand, deal with hundreds of transactions every year.
No matter how simple or a silly question might seem, don’t be afraid to ask. Buying a property can be a great learning process. You may even want to get multiple opinions. This is your property journey, so ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable!