Before you start looking for a property, work out your budget (and try to stick to it!). If you require a mortgage, you may need to see a mortgage broker to see how much the banks are willing to lend you. It is vital to know what you can afford from the start, so you don’t waste time by looking at properties above your budget.
Your mortgage broker will advise you on what type of mortgage is best for you. There are many products on the market such as fixed, variable and tracker rate mortgages. They all have pros and cons and depending on your preferences, you should choose what type of mortgage is right for you. Factors such as the amount of deposit you are willing to put down can determine what types of mortgages and rates are available to you. Generally, the bigger the deposit you put down, the lower the interest rate on your mortgage will be.
There are many costs involved when buying a property. Make sure you are financially prepared. As well as paying the deposit, you will also have to pay for survey fees, legal fees, cost of the searches, mortgage broker fees and stamp duty. Stamp duty can vary from 0% to 5% of the purchase price, depending on the price of the home. Please refer to our stamp duty calculator to work out how much stamp duty there will be on a certain property .
Study the property market before you start searching. Get a feel for the prices and an idea of how the market is moving. Knowledge of the property market could ensure that you don’t pay over the odds for your property and also help you decide if the time is right for you to buy.
Get to know as much as you can about the area you intend to live in before you buy. Is the neighbourhood safe, does it have good transport links, the quality of schools, how close is the shopping centre and local amenities are all factors that you should consider about the area you want to buy in.
Do not fall in love with the first property you see. Make sure you view a good number of properties to help you make an informed choice. The best way to know the market is to actually go and see what you can get for your money. Properties will come and go, so do not rush into buying the first one. However, with that said, do not get a reputation of being a timewaster by viewing hundreds of properties!
A good property never hangs around for long. If a property is the one for you, show your intent by acting fast. Make an offer and instruct a survey quickly.
Everything is negotiable! Try to get the best deal by making an offer. As long as your offer is realistic and one that will get the vendor thinking, put it forward! If you are a cash buyer, you will have more muscle behind your offer as you will be able to act fast. If the seller is in a chain, can you wait for them to find their home? Your flexibility can also be a good tool to negotiate a good deal. You have to go back and forth to get an offer accepted, but be prepared to do that as this is what negotiating is all about.
Choosing the right solicitor is something that should not be taken lightly. Do not go for the cheapest, always go for one that has been recommended, one that has a track record of completing transactions smoothly and efficiently. A good solicitor can save you time and money.