Buying your first home is likely to be the largest purchase you will make in your life, and small mistakes can be very expensive! Here’s a short guide to help you to find the right house for you, from squeezing information from the seller to hidden costs to be aware of.
Use a range of research tools to find houses and flats for sale in your chosen area. There are lots of websites where you can view homes for sale, new build developments, land for sale, or even auctions where you can pick up a real bargain. You can also go down the “old school” route of looking in estate agent windows to see what local homes are available now. Some sites also help you to see what sort of budget you might need for your chosen area, showing recently sold prices as well as expected mortgage repayment costs.
It can be a good idea to start talking to local estate agents, as they will always know of houses that are coming up for sale long before they are actually listed on any sites. Tell them what sort of home you are looking for as well as your budget. They will be able to tell you if you are being reasonable or not! If you make sure they know that you are a serious buyer, they may be able to let you know of potential houses before they become available to the general public.
Check Sold Prices
Thanks to the internet, it is now possible to know exactly how much people have paid for their homes. Most sites such as Rightmove or Zoopla have options to view the sold prices in a certain area, so you can see what your budget could stretch to. It can help you to expand the area you are looking in, as sometimes just a slight change in postcode can make the price drop or rise considerably!
Be aware that house prices can easily rise and fall, much like other investments. At the moment, the trend is definitely in the upwards direction, with prices pushing higher every day. Eventually, there will be a crash though, so it is worth bearing this in mind!
Don’t rule out new builds
Some people love a brand new home, others prefer the lived-in feel of an older property. There are some great benefits that can come with buying a new home, including some financial incentives often laid on by the developers to entice customers to buy – you could negotiate some cracking deals such as getting the stamp duty paid, or perhaps having carpets included in the cost. There is something nice about being the first people to own a home too! There are plenty of excellent new home developers throughout the country, including Linden Homes. They offer a huge range of home sizes and styles to suit anyone from a single buyer to large families.
View the Neighbourhood
It does not matter how lovely a house is, the neighborhood it sits in makes a big difference. A good plan is to take a wander around the local area before you put in your offer. Get a feel for the area, check out the local shopping and retail area, any public transport links you might require, and if you have youngsters, check the performance of local schools. You should try to view an area in both daytime and nighttime settings, as things can change substantially when the sun goes down, particularly in busy towns and cities where vibrant nightlife may be expected!
Ask questions at your viewing
Before you go ahead and make an offer, try to get as much information as you can from the seller. You can try to find out all sorts of things such as how many viewings they have had, how long it’s been on the market, what renovations it has had, how recently the boiler was inspected – all sorts! The more information you can get, the better informed you will be about whether the house is right for you.