The common mistakes made by first time buyers and how to avoid them

Tue 18 Jun 2019

There’s no denying that purchasing your first property can be an incredibly exciting process. Everything from your first viewing to deciding which bread bin goes best with your new kitchen can feel like a thrill, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a multitude of things to avoid as you look to buy your first home.

 

But don’t fret! We’ve outlined the most common mistakes that first-time buyers when looking for the property of their dreams, and what your best practise should be instead.

 

Seal an agreement in principle

First thing’s first; get an agreement in principle from your lender in place first. The importance behind getting this step resolved is that it will give you an idea of how much your mortgage provider will allow you to borrow, and given that they’re often valid for 30-to-90 days, you should have the best part of three months to search for the right home before you need to get the agreement re-evaluated.

 

The benefit of getting what’s also known as a mortgage promise in place is simple; should you find a home you love and need to act fast, there’s no guarantee that you can find a loan big enough for you to buy it. With that in mind, figuring out the amount of money that you have at your disposal is vital.

 

Check your credit score

Another simple thing, but one that is also frequently missed. Checking your credit score prior to applying for a mortgage can save you a large potential headache; if you have a poor credit score then you run the risk of your mortgage application being rejected, which will cause further damage to your score. An early check of your score prior to applying for a mortgage can allow you to correct errors and get your credit rating in a healthier place.

 

Do your sums!

The process of buying a home is about much more than the price of a property; you have to factor in valuations, house survey costs, legal fees and conveyancing. These financial hits can seem unreasonable, but again, they’re vital to making sure that the property you’re buying is in good condition. With that in mind, make sure that you have enough money for these vital parts of the purchasing process, too.

 

What’s going on locally?

We all have certain criteria for the area that we’ll be moving into when it comes to choosing a home. Are there good schools nearby? What about shops or park space? Are the transport links sufficient for your work or other needs?

 

Research the local area; find out if this place will meet your needs and provide what you require in order to enjoy your life. If you’re able, spend a bit of time walking around and getting a feel for the place. Moving home can be an emotionally overwhelming process, so the more you know about your new area, the more settled you’ll feel once you move in.

 

Ask questions and don’t be afraid to get advice

It’s important to know what you want out of a home prior to conducting viewings, and it certainly does not hurt to have an idea of what questions you’d like to ask before you start visiting properties. Ask the sellers why they’re thinking of leaving, for example, or how long they’ve lived at the property, whilst testing out things like taps, windows and lights.

 

Beyond that, seek professional advice from an impartial mortgage broker. This is key, as a broker can assist you with setting up a financial plan, help you to find a good deal on a mortgage and get the ball really rolling on the buying process.

"Hi Gayl, I just wanted to really thank you for all that you're doing for me, to enable this flat let to go smoothly. This is well above my expectations of any letting agency and l feel EHB are very fortunate to have you as a team member. You are most willing to go beyond the call of duty and have such a problem solving manner you have made this journey easy and positive for me. Please forward this on to your manager...though l'm sure they already know how excellent your work is. With thanks and good wishes."
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