You’ve taken the decision that you want to get your foot on the property ladder. Before going any further, we’ve made a list of a few things you should consider before you start house hunting:
Futureproof your purchase!
Have you thought ahead? When you buy, its vital to think ahead and have a rough idea of how long you intend to live in the property you are considering buying. If you’re looking at a one bedroom apartment but see yourself possibly starting a family in a couple of years, it might be worth having a re-think. If you were to buy, you may find yourself needing to move again quickly, incurring moving expenses, and possibly have to sell at a loss to gain much needed space.
Are you ready for the responsibility?
Owning your own home is a dream for many but it can also turn into a nightmare for others. Are you prepared for the maintenance costs of a property? Boilers can and do break, pipes can spring leaks and there are a host of repair bills that will crop up. Make sure you’ve built potential costs into your plans going forward, particularly if you’ve been used to simply contacting a landlord to resolve issues. You will be the one sorting any issues in future!
Are you good to go if the right house comes on the market?
Houses that attract first time buyers are generally snapped up very quickly so to ensure you are best placed to offer and hopefully buy a popular property, do the groundwork early. Make sure you have spoken to a mortgage advisor and have assessed your ability to borrow to the limit you think you may require. It is also wise to have a Mortgage Promise/Mortgage in Principle in place. These are generally dated for 6 months and are not property specific. You are not tied to the lender this is with and you would have the option to search for the best deal when actually applying for your mortgage when you have an offer accepted however it does indicate your ability to borrow which can make your offer more attractive if you are in a competing offer situation.
After giving these things some consideration and property ownership is for you, there is one final and vitally important thing to think about – set your absolute limit before offering on any property!
You’ve found the perfect pad but there is another party just as interested so you increase your offer to seal the deal. Have you really thought through the increase? Can you afford to pay a higher mortgage than you’d originally planned for? It’s all very well having a lovely home but if you can’t afford to enjoy it, the dream may not last too long. Have a back-up plan if mortgage rates were to increase otherwise you may be forced to sell.