When it comes to buying a home, this is probably the most expensive purchase you’re ever going to make, so you definitely shouldn’t rush it or go into it half-heartedly. To help you, we’ve put together a list of our top 10 tips so read on and see if they help you on your home hunt!
1. Work out where you want to buy
Location is key. You can change the aesthetics of a property, but you can’t change its area so head to some areas you’re considering. Have a wander around and take special note of local schools, transport links and amenities. This will also help you narrow down which part of a neighbourhood or which streets you may want to buy property.
2. Do your research
Before you rush into anything, do your research. Speak to local estate agents or have a look online at properties on the market, or which have just sold in the area. Find out what’s on the market, how fast stock is moving and what current sold prices sit at.
Also work out how much you can afford - taking into account monthly repayments next to additional costs, such as transport and household bills. Read up on our tips to understanding mortgages and work out how much mortgage you will roughly be offered before you start hunting for properties at a specific price.
3. Get in quick
Sign up to property portals and with local estate agents in your area for email alerts to make sure you’re in the know as soon as new properties come onto the market. This way you can get ahead of the game and get your viewings in first.
4. Make a pro and con list
Before you view any properties, make yourself a pro and con list of issues which are most important to you in your property choice. This way after your viewing, your decision will be based on logic and practicalities over emotions and feeling towards the property you just saw.
5. Consider all the options
There are several different home-buying options open to you. Why not check out government schemes such as Help-To-Buy if you’re a first time buyer or property auctions. You might just find yourself a more affordable new pad!
6. Be prepped and ready at the viewing
Check out our recent blog on things to look out for and make sure you ask these on your viewing! There are lots of questions to consider, such as how many years are left on the lease, the age of in-built appliances and what comes with the property.
7. Take photos
Caught up in the rush of the moment, you’ll forget to look at many little details so take photos of rooms to look back at when you get home. When you inevitably remember all the questions you forgot to ask, you can check the photos for reference.
8. Once you’ve found the property, check out the area in more detail
You’ll have already visited the area but visit again with more specific focus on what it would be like to live here. Some things to think about are whether it feels safe in the evening and whether the amenities nearby are right for what you need.
9. Negotiate with the seller
Check out nearby selling prices of properties, then consider whether there’s any work that will be needed to be done to the property. This will help you work out what price it’s worth and whether you’ve got room to negotiate the price with the seller before you put in an offer.
10. No red flags? You’re good to go!
Are all your questions answered? Has communication with the seller been easy and efficient? Is the area ticking all the boxes? So long as there’s no niggles in your mind, you’re good to go! Work out the highest price you’re willing to pay and put in a first offer. If your offer doesn’t get accepted, don’t panic and go above your budget – there’s plenty more fish in the sea and it’ll be worth it when you find the right one!
Follow our 10 tips and you’ll be in your new home in no time – with no unforeseen problems! Good luck with your hunt and explore our blog for many handy tips and advice blogs now.
If you're looking for a property, check out properties we have online or find out where our offices are in London so you can drop in to your local one.