Want to get on the property ladder and buy your first home in 2023? We’ve put together our Top 10 Tips for First-Time Buyers to help you along the process.
1. Save for a big deposit if you can
Save, save, and save some more! In the lead-up to buying your first property, we recommend cutting back on a few luxuries and saving as big a deposit as possible. Remember, the bigger deposit you put down, the more likely you are to land a low-interest rate. Not to mention that the bigger the deposit, the smaller the mortgage!
2. Work out what you can afford
Before you begin house-hunting we advise crunching those numbers and working out what you can comfortably afford. Check with your mortgage advisor how much lenders are likely to give you before you begin browsing for properties. You’ll also need to consider your monthly expenses once you complete, including your mortgage repayments, bills, food, and if you’re buying a leasehold property, you’ll also have to consider costs such as ground rent and service charges.
3. Don’t be afraid to Negotiate
If the home you’re looking at requires some work, don’t feel embarrassed to negotiate on the price. Don’t forget, as a first-time buyer, you are more attractive to sellers because you are chain-free therefore more likely to complete quickly.
4. Get your Mortgage application in early
Save yourself time by getting your mortgage application in early, this will help make you more attractive to sellers if they are looking for a speedy transaction – and it will save you time in the long run.
5. Don’t forget the extra fees
Of course, your deposit is the main savings goal, however, don’t forget to take into consideration the extra costs. We advise you to set aside around £1,000-£2,000 for your solicitor’s fees and also an additional budget for a mortgage advisor if you intend on using one.
6. Always read the small print
Our number one rule! You will be given what feels like a mountain of paperwork throughout the house-buying process and it is really important that you give the terms and conditions a good read, just to ensure you are fully aware of what’s included before you sign on the dotted line.
7. Be prepared to play the waiting game
When it comes to buying a home, some processes can be extra slow, so don’t be surprised if there may be a few quiet months while things are being worked on in the background. If things are moving along quite slowly we do advise giving your solicitors a nudge every once in a while to ensure you’re at the forefront of their workload.
8. It’s okay to ask questions
Buying your first home can be a scary and complicated process, so don’t feel like you can’t ask any questions if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the wording in the paperwork. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask your mortgage brokers, solicitors, or estate agent, they are full of knowledge and they’re there to help you along the process.
9. Get your documents prepared
Make sure you get all of your documents in place to save time. As well as the usual ID and proof of address, mortgage applications will always require much more information including things like bank statements, payslips, and pension plans.
10. Use your Contacts
If you know someone else who has recently bought a property, don’t be afraid to pick their brains. The process will be fresh in their minds, and they will be able to share their experiences to advise you on your purchase.