Guild Blog: Are you a First Time Buyer? What to Avoid when Buying a Property for the First Time …

What to avoid when buying a property for the first time …

 

First Time Buyers

Buying a home for the first time can be an emotionally driven experience, especially when you consider the various elements that need to be taken into account. While there are several new and exciting things that go into buying a home, it can be a complicated process to negotiate. Often, it’s easy to focus on the smaller details and lose sight of the larger picture while possibly making mistakes.

First Time Buyers

 

Here what you need to avoid along the way…

Not getting a mortgage in principle

Once you have made the decision to buy a property, the temptation to jump into the search with both feet will be overwhelming. However, rushing in before speaking to your bank about the mortgage they are prepared to offer you could lead to disappointment. Imagine you find a house you love, only to learn it is not within your price range when applying for the mortgage. While not a requirement or guarantee, getting a Mortgage in Principle will provide you with a written estimate from a lender, giving an indication of what you can borrow.

It’s possible to apply for a Mortgage in Principle through a mortgage adviser such as L&C or directly with a lender. They will provide you with the reassurance that you are looking at properties within your price range and they will let the seller know you are serious and qualify to buy the property.

 

Not working out what you can afford

There might be a difference between the mortgage you qualify for and what you can comfortably afford in real terms. It is always advisable that you leave some cushioning in the budget. Look at your finances and make a list of your expenses before determining a budget for a property to gain a clear idea of what you can afford. Don’t stretch your finances too thin, as this will make you vulnerable if unforeseen circumstances rear their head.

 

Focusing on the flaws

You shouldn’t compromise on your ‘must-haves’ but placing too much focus on the home’s flaws might have you miss the things that really matter. Fixtures can be replaced, rooms can be made open-plan or walls can be added to create your dream home with a property that meets your essential criteria.

 

Falling in love blindly

On the other end of the spectrum, you shouldn’t overlook a home because of its flaws, but don’t completely ignore them either. The look of a home is one thing, but more serious issues such as structural damage are quite another. Often, once a buyer sees a home that they think is the one, their decisions will be based on the emotional connection rather than the facts. Be fully aware of all the property’s issues before you put in an offer. Ask your Guild agent to explain all a property’s past and current major or structural issues, or seek advice from a surveyor.

 

Waiting too long

It is crucial to make an informed decision when choosing the right home, but don’t take too long, otherwise, you could lose out to a faster buyer. Once you have found the right home, be decisive and take action to avoid disappointment.

 

Not thinking about the future

Consider aspects such as the home’s resale potential as well as your future plans. It might seem strange to think about selling the home before you have bought it but much of the home’s potential return on investment is based on decisions you make when buying, not selling.

 

Factors that will affect the home’s resale value include:

• Location

• Condition

• Type of property

• Number of bedrooms

• Garage or off-street parking.

• Investments in infrastructure, like HS2

 

Also, consider whether the home will meet your needs in the future. For example, you may not have children now but plan to shortly – this means needing an extra bedroom or ensuring that you purchase near a school with the desired Ofsted rating. Think about whether the home meets your situation now, but also if it can meet your evolving needs.

 

Are you looking for your first property? Contact one of our Guild agents today. Find your nearest office here.

 

 

(To read this blog post or other blog posts by The Guild of Property Professionals please visit their website.

Guild Blog: How to Know if you are Ready to Buy a Home

Getting into the property market and owning a home is a milestone that many aspire to. Buying a home can have an impact on your financial situation for the rest of your life. However, while the idea of owning a home is exciting, it is vital that you only take that step when you are completely ready to do so. This is because being a homeowner requires desire, sustainability and a long-term financial commitment.

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Guild Blog: Top tips to sell your home faster

Moving home is a complicated process, and so getting it right is crucial. Whether you are a first-time buyer, or an experienced home owner, here are our top five tips to help you sell and move in as quickly as possible:

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Guild Blog: How to Save a Deposit for your First Home

HOW TO SAVE A DEPOSIT FOR YOUR FIRST HOME

 

The bottom line of raising a deposit is that you need to save money! Here are some top tips to help start you on your campaign to turn your pennies into pounds:

 

  • With a realistic monthly saving plan, you can rest assured you have started the wheels in motion – there is a lot to be said for initiating the ‘saving’! A deposit can seem like a daunting figure, so taking it month by month will take some of the pressure off. Even if you aren’t sure how much you will ultimately need, you can always begin saving.

 

  • There are plenty of free online budget templates you can download which will help you to assess your finances. As well as fixed monthly costs, such as bills, you would be surprised how much you spend on seemingly small items. Start this process by reviewing your previous months spend to avoid forgetting or being too optimistic.

 

  • Avoid overestimating the amount you can set aside each month. Settle on a minimum figure and, if you have an extra good month, you can always transfer some extra pounds into your savings account. Trying to save too much is likely to put you off and leave you feeling disappointed.

 

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  • Before you choose an account, do some research as interest rates can vary. Since saving for a deposit is a long-term goal, it may be that an account which gives you better interest rates, but does not allow you instant access is more appropriate. Take your time working this out as it’s important to make your money work hard for you! Remember that a savings account is not for life: periodically assess whether moving your savings could be more beneficial.

 

  • Take the chore of transferring out of your life and transfer the money automatically with a standing order or direct debit. This stop you from thinking, hesitating or reallocating those funds.

 

  • Your family and friends will understand your goal – so ask them for support. Find cheaper midweek deals to meet with friends and swap dinners out for a nice meal in.

 

Saving can be a struggle; often, the first few months are your best as you are focused and dedicated. Since this is a long-term plan, you may need to find ways to reinvigorate your savings at varying points, but also remember there are times to give yourself a break as long as you continue to save your minimum amount.

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Guild Blog: First Time Buyers Benefit from Stamp Duty Tax Relief

First Time Buyer Stamp Duty Benefits
First Time Buyers Benefit from Stamp Duty Tax Relief

 

Yesterday marked a year that first-time buyers have benefited from the stamp duty tax relief.

The money-saving tax relief, which is known as First Time Buyer Relief (FTBR), was introduced on 22 November 2017.  The Treasury announced that since the inception of the scheme, more than 180,500 first-time buyers have benefited, saving a total of £426 million pounds.

 

Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, said: “The government’s effort to assist first-time buyers to get into the market is seeing fruit with the number of first-time buyers at a 12-year high and climbing. Provided they have access to finances to meet deposit requirements, either through savings or their parents, first-time buyers will have an even greater impact in the market during 2019.”

The scheme is available to any first-time buyer purchasing a property in England or Northern Ireland with a purchase price of no more than £500,000, in the budget last month the relief was extended to first-time buyers purchasing a property through an approved shared ownership scheme. According to the Treasury, the relief was claimed in over 58,800 transactions between July and September this year, an increase of 12% compared with the previous quarter.

“While factors such as Brexit are still having a major impact on the housing market, the stamp duty relief will continue to increase the number of motivated buyers looking to purchase their first property,” adds McKenzie.

Find out what stamp duty you will pay on your property purchase by using our stamp duty calculator.