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Top Ten Tips for First Time Buyers

June 15, 2021

Are you a first-time buyer? Buying your first property is probably the most expensive purchase you are ever going to make so you should not go into it half-heartedly. To help you, we have put together a list of our top ten tips to get your foot on the property ladder.

1. Location, Location, Location!

Location is key. You can change the aesthetics of a property, but you cannot change the area! To narrow down your property search, work out what benefits your chosen areas offer. For instance, one location may benefit from good transport links, or you may prefer a five-minute walking distance to open green space. Spending time exploring your chosen areas will inevitably help narrow down street names and help you get an overall feel for the area too.

2. Do your research

Before you rush into anything, do your research. Speak to local estate agents, look at current properties for sale online, or which have just sold in your chosen area. It is also worthwhile to find out how fast stock is moving in your chosen areas. You can also pop into any local Portico office branch and speak to our office Managers who are always happy to offer guidance.

3. Work out the costs

Work out how much you can afford - considering monthly repayments and 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. Find out more about how Portico Finance can help you get the right mortgage by getting in touch directly here. Do not get your heart broken on a property you can’t afford.

4. Make a wish list

Before viewing any properties, make yourself a wish list of  points which are most important to you in your first property. Therefore, after viewings, your decision will be based on logic and practicalities over emotions and feeling towards a property.

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 home.

6. Be prepped and ready at the viewing

Check out our 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 your perfect 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 the property needs any work doing to it. 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. If your offer doesn’t get accepted, don’t panic and go above your budget, work out whether you can afford to stretch the budget for your perfect property. 

Good luck with your property search and explore our other helpful articles on our blog here. If you are looking for a property to buy, check out our properties currently for sale here or find your local Portico office branch here.

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