Buying a house is an exciting time, whether you’re a first time buyer, or you’re taking advantage of the stamp duty holiday, but there are a few things you should consider before signing on the dotted line.
What’s your budget?
Whilst we may all want the 5 bed detached on a quiet cul-de-sac with large front and rear garden, we have to be realistic with our budget, and our expectations. To find out what your realistic budget is, there are few things to consider:
- How big is you deposit? For most, a deposit of 10-15% is standard, although 20% of the property value would be ideal, especially given the current climate. However, there are some government schemes and some mortgages that allow a 5% deposit.
- Your debts and credit score? Before you can borrow any money, lenders will look at your financial history to check you’re a good bet.
- What can you afford per month? Look at your spending habits, if you’re living hand to mouth for the last few days before payday, you’ll need to reassess your spending habits. Generally, lenders will only lend 4.5 times your annual income.
Where do you want to live?
Buying a house is a long-term investment, and whilst we can’t predict the future it’s always worth bearing in mind where you want to be in 5 – 10 years’ time. Do you want to live somewhere close to good schools? Perhaps your daily commute is important? Or will you be changing jobs? You might love the buzz of city life now, but will a rural idyll be more suitable? These are all things you should consider when looking for your new home. But don’t forget the wild card option Sometimes, it can be somewhere we’ve never even dreamed of that we end up falling in love with.
What type of property do you want?
Are dreaming of a detached period property? Or, perhaps you want a new build in a modern housing development? Are you after a project? Or, are you more a turnkey person? Think about the lifestyle you want to live, as well as the style that appeals. It’s no good looking at Victorian properties if you don’t like steep steps and don’t want the upkeep that comes with older properties.
Does it need much work?
If you’ve found the house for you and want to make an offer, it’s worth taking a builder round as they’ll be able to spot any potential pitfalls. This will help ensure you minimise your risk of making any asbestos claims in the future or making expensive underpinning reparations. Perhaps there’s a smell of damp and you want to make sure it isn’t rising? If you’re unsure, ask an expert.
Do you have a solicitor or mortgage broker?
Having a solicitor and a mortgage broker on your side will help make the conveyancing process much easier, and hopefully less stressful. A solicitor, or conveyancer will be able to communicate with the mortgage broker and the other parties solicitor, so you don’t have to. Whilst a mortgage broker will be able to critically assess your affordability to ensure there are no holdups with your mortgage application.
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