Four top tips for home buyers

Buying a home is an exciting prospect, but it can take time and patience to find the right home for you. Here are some top tips to make the process of buying a new home a little easier.

Finance first

Sort out your finances first, so that you can tailor your property search to the budget you have available. If you know you’ll need a mortgage, consider getting an agreement in principle, which means you’ll know in theory that you could secure a certain level of borrowing. Along with any cash deposit you have available, this will determine how much you can spend on a new home.

Money Saving Expert has a First Time Buyer’s Guide which can help you calculate how much you can borrow and what costs you will have to pay.

Ensure you have enough in the budget for conveyancing fees, as well as stamp duty and removal costs etc. SAM Conveyancing explains some of the costs that need to be covered when you’re buying a property

Do your research

Buying a property can be easier if you do some research on your chosen areas and type of property, and ways to upgrade your potential home with building projects or refurbishments. It can be heartbreaking to fall in love with an area if you can’t afford any properties there, so research places a little further afield that may also have good transport links and a similar community feel.

Write a list of what you need, such as the number of bedrooms and a place to park your car, and then another list for what you want – perhaps a garage and space to have guests to stay.

Don’t go on first impressions

If you’ve visited a potential new home once and you like it, arrange to go back for a second viewing before you think about making an offer to buy it. Second viewings are a chance for you to look at details you might have missed or to review things that might have made you love or almost dismiss a place before. For instance, did you think the kitchen was horrible and almost rule it out? Could it be given a lick of paint so you could keep using it for a while before you can afford to have it replaced?

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