Six tips for first-time buyers

The property market is showing no signs of slowing down and so now is as good a time as any to take your first step onto the property ladder. But before you start house hunting, make sure you are as prepared as you can be and know what you need to do and when.

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Although buying a home can be quite a stressful experience, it can also be one of great excitement, and by knowing what to expect you can minimise any problems.

Calculate your budget

The first and most important thing you need to do is to work out what you can afford. What size mortgage you can get will depend on your income and how much you have saved for a deposit. It is always worth checking the schemes for first time buyers.

Find the best mortgage for you

Don’t accept the first mortgage you get offered. Shop around and get the best rate and deal for you.

Find a property

Once you have your price bracket, you can then start the fun bit of going house hunting. Try not to get impatient or make any impulse decisions, and if you are struggling, write down a list of key things you want versus things that you can live without, as this will help narrow your search.

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Making an offer

When you make an offer, make sure it is realistic and find out as much as possible about the position of the seller. If they are expecting lots of offers, or have only recently gone on the market, you are unlikely to get a low offer accepted. However, if they have been on the market a while and are keen to sell, it may be worth trying your luck. Property prices are currently at their highest since 2007.

Choose your legal representative

You will need to appoint a conveyancing firm to take care of all the legalities and handle the transfers of fees etc. Make sure you get conveyancing quotes from companies such as Sam Conveyancing for the work, so you can account for this in your budget.

Checks and valuations

Once you have secured your mortgage and had your offer accepted, your mortgage lender will need to carry out various financial checks on you and your partner if buying together. They will also need to value the property to ensure it is worth the money you will be paying for it.

Whenever you are ready to buy your first home, make sure you can access advice and support from family and friends. Be prepared to make some sacrifices in order to secure the home of your dreams and remember it will all be worth it.