12 Jul 2022
While each and every purchase and sale is unique in the housing market, there are still ways to prepare yourself for what is inevitably one of the most exciting and trying times of your life. Read on for our tips for first-time buyers
Congratulations, you’re finally in the position to buy a house! There are a number of financing options and schemes available to you, and it’s important that you know which (if any) are suitable for you. You may benefit from the government’s first homes scheme, though you may find the repayment requirements to be unfavourable. There are also Shared Ownership schemes which are helpful to those trying to get on the property ladder for the first time. Then there’s the traditional mortgage option, but whatever you decide, make sure it’s the most fitting option for you.
Long and complicated chains can be off-putting to people selling their houses. Typically, the longer a chain, the more that can go wrong. For this reason, people buying a house for the first time are in a unique and positive position. The fact that there is no house sale slowing you down makes you appealing to sellers. Make sure that estate agents representing any properties you’re interested in make the fact that you don’t currently own a home known to sellers. This could give you a competitive edge over other potential buyers.
Even when you’re buying your second or third home, the process can be wholly overwhelming. Some buyers, first-time or not, find it beneficial to work with a mortgage broker. For a fee, a broker will speak to you about your situation and finances. They will present you with the best mortgage products for your situation and even complete a lot of the paperwork for you. Over the years, mortgage applications have become more and more stringent, and offloading some of the effort onto a broker can make the process a lot more straightforward and stress-free.
Many first-time buyers are blinded by the additional fees on top of the actual house price. The truth is, you’re going to pay for a lot more than just the home you plan to live in. There are solicitor fees, surveys, stamp tax (if the house is over £300,000) and home removal costs to consider. When shopping for houses, be sure to adjust your budget to allow for these added expenses so that you’re not caught out.
The process of purchasing a home can be painfully slow and takes much longer than most people expect. The thrill of the house hunt is followed by the stressful, yet exciting, offer and negotiation stage, which then will hopefully lead to an accepted offer and then… it feels as if nothing happens for weeks. In reality, most UK house sales take a minimum of 3 months to complete, and this can be longer or shorter depending on all kinds of factors, including the length of the chain you’re in. Any complications within that chain, like if someone drops out of a purchase or sale, can result in an even longer wait. The best outlook to take is to prepare for the long game when buying a home.
By following our first-time buyer advice, you should be able to enter the housing market in a competent and confident mind frame. As long as you take the time to make the right decisions, know the risks and expect the unexpected, you should have a positive experience when buying your first home.