What Do First-Time Buyers Wish They Knew Before Property Purchase
When it comes to the stressful things you will do in your life, buying a house is very close to the top of the list. It goes without saying that buying a house as first-time buyer is even more stressful; this is one of the biggest things you will ever do in your life and there are so many things that can delay the process making it even more stressful.
If you could help just one first time buyer what thing would you tell them that you wish you had known before you began your journey to join the property ladder?
If you are renting then it makes sense that you would want to own your own home and pay towards a mortgage rather than paying out to a landlord, however it is worth being patient. In order to buy your first property, you will need to save for your deposit and this could take some time. A deposit will need to be a minimum of 5% of the value of the home you wish to purchase. However, the bigger the deposit you have to play with the more mortgage deals there are that will be available to you and there will be many with better rates. Don’t rush to buy, save a healthy deposit rather than just the minimum, this will open up so many more opportunities to you when house hunting and looking for a mortgage.
House prices are rising to such an extent that in many areas first time buyers are being priced out the market; even the smallest homes in popular areas are too expensive for them. This means that they are being forced to look further afield, consider areas they wouldn’t have look at before or even move completely out of the area in order to be able to afford property. Settling for a house in the wrong area can cause complications with things like employment; it might mean that you are much further away from your job and end up spending a lot of time and money commuting. Whilst this might be okay in the short term they may eventually feel they need to look for a new job nearer to where they have bought a house. Moving out of area can be a big regret for many first-time buyers, they simply don’t realise the impact it can have on quality of life until it is too late.
Why is the property cheaper?
It’s no secret that most first-time buyers are looking for a cheaper property to start them off on the property ladder, one that suits their needs now but maybe won’t in the future. Location can play a key role in the price of property, houses in less desirable areas can be cheaper, many first-time buyers can quickly regret buying cheaper property if they did not research properly before purchasing. These properties may need a significant amount of updating and extra work doing to them. There could be hidden issues with damp or worse still the property could be a flood risk. This will naturally bump up home insurance premiums by a significant amount and whilst the initial outlay might be good, these extra premiums combined with the worry every time a flood warning is in place may not be worth it.
Buyers can also regret not checking out an area thoroughly before committing themselves to a home purchase. It is worth visiting an area at several different times during the day, especially if it is not an area you are not familiar with, you may see a property in a whole new light. Whilst a road might seem nice and calm on a weekend you could find that daytime parking is impossible during a week because of a nearby business or transport link, there might be noise issues at night that are not apparent during the day.
When looking for property it is normal to have a list of the features you are looking for and this holds true whether you are buying your first home or a subsequent one. You also accept that you may need to compromise on some of these features in order to get a property that is within your budget and fits most of your criteria, if you can find everything then you are very lucky. However, if you compromise on too many of these features then it won’t be the home you were looking for and you will probably end up being unhappy about the things that are missing. It is better to keep looking than just settling for something that will do; another key regret from first time buyers.
Budget is key
One things that first-time buyers always say is they had no idea just how expensive buying a home could be. It is important to remember there is more to the finance side of things than just the mortgage. You need to budget for all of those bills; council tax, utilities and home and contents insurance – especially important if you buy a home that is at risk of flooding. These can really mount up so do some research, even if you just have some rough figures to work with it is a great place to start.
There are also solicitor’s fees and moving costs to consider as well, of course if you are moving locally and from rented accommodation or out of your parent’s home then you may not have too much stuff or too far to go. If this is the case then it is often possible to at least reduce your moving costs by asking family and friends to help you and hiring a van.
Whilst getting a foot on the property ladder might seem a hugely daunting task, it is a very rewarding one that be hugely worthwhile. Don’t let the regrets that you have be that you didn’t take this first step, it can be scary but do your research and don’t rush into anything, be certain that the decision you have made is the right one for you.