Top Tips For First Time Buyers

Congratulations! You’ve been living carefully in a rented flat for a while and you’ve now saved up enough deposit to start looking for your first property. Maybe you’re planning to pool your resources and buy with a partner.

It's a very exciting time, but looking for your first home isn’t easy. We’ve helped many young people get onto the property ladder so, based on our experience, here are some of our tips for avoiding the most common pitfalls that can trip the first time buyer.

Do your homework

Now you know your budget, you can search for homes you can know you can afford. But preparation and research are key, Start with location, which is the most important factor and one that can't be changed.

As for potential properties, think carefully about your requirements and narrow them down to must-haves and nice-to-haves. List these down, remain focused on them and your search will be a whole lot easier.

Know what you can afford

We all dream of that big house in the country or city centre flat, but you'll soon regret not looking at your finances when you've viewed 20 houses and realised you can't afford any of them. Using a mortgage calculator will help you to determine how much you can pay monthly on a house but don’t forget all the other costs, such as stamp duty, solicitors’ fees and removals.

Mortgages can also be confusing, with so many to choose from. Speak to an expert to find one that meets your needs and with monthly repayments you can afford.

Consider Government schemes

Recognising the problems young people face when it comes to finding a home, the Government is offering a whole host of schemes to help first-time buyers, including Starter Homes and Lifetime ISAs, to “Help to Buy”. Take a look at our guide on Government schemes.

Use your imagination

Look beyond the out of date décor, the clutter and overgrown garden and try to see the potential. If the home meets your needs in terms of location and size, issues like the avocado-coloured bathroom suite can be solved later.

Make a thorough inspection

It's extremely important to get a full survey done as well as having a good look around when you view a property. Be brave and ask both the agent and seller questions and if you think you see a problem, mention it. The last thing you want is to be stuck with the expense of DIY disasters and structural problems.

Also, have a look around the neighbourhood at different times of the day and night to see if there are any problems with noise or busy roads.

Think ahead

On a personal level, is there scope to expand living space if you start a family? Are there good schools in the area? Also, check out with the local council what kind of development plans there are for the neighbourhood.

Explore other areas

Most buyers have a particular location in mind and whilst this can work to your advantage, it can also limit your options. Your dream home could be in the next town and by searching that little bit further you may find something you didn’t even know you were looking for.

Find the right estate agent

Although more house marketing is being done online, find someone with good local knowledge. Meet as many as you can face-to-face by dropping into local offices and let them know what you want. Building a rapport could mean you hear about a property before other potential buyers.

Buying a house first time can stressful and overwhelming but if you're aware of the dangers, you can protect yourself from costly mistakes.

If you’d like some honest, independent advice about the best way to market your home in the Abingdon area, then contact Simpsons of Abingdon or ring 01235 520079.

Happy house hunting!