Getting on the property ladder for the first time, no matter your age, is one of the most intimidating yet exciting experiences you will ever encounter. Buying a property in this economic climate is probably the hardest it has ever been in recent history, but it can still be done very effectively with the right know-how. Securing a mortgage is tough enough, but once that is done there’s then the matter of making the property liveable, and, you know, actually finding the right property and area to live in.
If you’re looking to become a first-time buyer but aren’t quite sure where to begin, here are a few first-time buyer mortgage and property tips to make the experience that little bit easier.
Consider the area
While finding your dream home is all well and good, for a lot of people it is the area that’s more important than the actual property itself. Before you begin looking for a house you should ideally look at areas you like. Find an area and try to discover as much about it as you can. Look at travel links, amenities, schools, medical care, and average property prices. You also want to find out whether it is a decent area to live. If it’s really cheap, find out why that is. It may be that the area looks nice on paper but has a lot of crime and anti-social behaviour. Needless to say, if that is the case, we’d advise you to keep looking.
Know your budget
Another important thing to consider is what you can afford. We aren’t just talking about the price of the property, we’re also talking about living costs, mortgage repayments, and so on. Work out how much you earn, how much you will need to spend on absolutely everything, and whether or not you can comfortably afford it. Don’t forget to factor in unexpected costs such as home repairs, new vehicles, vehicle repairs, time off from work, and so on. If things are looking tight, either consider somewhere cheaper or look at viable ways of bringing more money in each month, or of cutting back.
Secure yourself a mortgage agreement in principle
After you’ve been offered a loan, the next thing you need to do is secure yourself a mortgage agreement in principle. This is a free document that helps prove to potential lenders that you are a worthy candidate.
After buying, do as much of the work yourself as you can
Once you’ve finally purchased your new property, have got the keys, and are finally able to get inside, it’s worthwhile doing much of the work yourself. Unless you have plenty of disposable income, you’ll probably be looking to keep costs down which is why it pays to do the work yourself. It will almost certainly need decorating, but rather than paying professional decorators, why not buy the paint and decorate yourself. If you are pretty handy, do as much of the work yourself as you can. If you want a new bathroom, if you are able, remove the old one yourself before hiring a builder as you will have saved them a job, so you’ll receive a cheaper quote. The more you can do, legally and safely, the better.