Im currently in the middle of buying my first home, and let me tell you, this process is no joke. As someone who is going through many different feelings and learning something new every day, here are a few things Ive learned:
Saving for longer is worth it
It can be frustrating trying to save for your deposit when you really want to just go ahead and buy your home, but the more cash you can put down, the better deal youll get on your mortgage. Since I work for myself, its even more important that I have a decent deposit, since banks are already wary about lending to the self-employed.
Look at all the costs
When I first began this process, I naively assumed my biggest issue would be scraping together my deposit. But it turns out that you also need to pay stamp duty, which begins at 2% on any house over 125,000. You may also need to pay for , Land Registry fees, and of course, furniture.
Look at your options
Some lenders off first-time buyers special deals. The government also has a number of innovations and initiatives that help new buyers get started on the property lender. This includes New Buy and the Help to Buy scheme, which help buyers who have a deposit between 5 and 20%. The government will either offer you an interest-free equity loan if youre buying a new build property, or it will part-guarantee your mortgage which makes it less risky for the lender.
That area with a bad reputation may just be about to take off. Keep an eye out for things like luxury supermarkets, upmarket restaurants, and cute little cafes beginning to pop up. One of my friends has just bought in this kind of neighbourhood, and her apartment is going to increase significantly in value. Its a good idea to look at the planning permission to see whats going to happen in the future before you buy so you can get ahead of the game.
Do your homework
Your solicitor may send you information about the house youre buying, along with comprehensive information like land checks. But this isnt a homebuying survey, and they cost a few hundred pounds more. You must get this done. Basically, a surveyor will take a good look at your property and see if it has any expensive problems like termites or damp. Its well worth getting this done for the peace of mind.
A house is likely to be the largest purchase you ever make. For this reason, its not unlikely to have nightmares or feel panicked about your purchase. After all, what if property values suddenly collapse?
If youre planning to hold the property for the long term, this shouldnt worry you. As long as you can afford your monthly mortgage payments, youll be purchasing your own home, and thats exciting!