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The Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home

Buying a first house can be both exciting and daunting. Looking around, it is easy to get swept away with the whirlwind of how beautiful the décor is or how creative you can be with changing elements to suite your own style.

However, as exciting as it may be, it is important to consider everything that may impact your lifestyle. There may be a number of questions floating about in your mind: Where do I start? How much can I afford? Where do I want to live?

These tips will help to take away any of the stress of buying your first home, give you all the information you should consider and help you to enjoy the best bits.

What can you afford?

A house is the biggest purchase you may ever make, however, there are a number of initiatives in place to help you on your way to buying your new home. When looking at affordability, the main things you want to consider are:

Meeting with a mortgage advisor: They will decipher all the important numbers based on your income and outgoings and give you a rough idea about how much you can borrow.

Breaking down the costs: This includes the initial deposit (this needs to be at least 5% of the house value), the mortgage length (how long you would like to take the mortgage out for, typically this is 25 years) and finally the interest rate (this largely depends on how big your deposit is).

Looking to see if you are eligible for a Help to Buy scheme: This is provided by the government for both old and new houses, whereby the government acts as a guarantor for up to 15% of the house value. This reduces the risk to the mortgage lender to they can offer you a 5% mortgage.

Finding the perfect place

Finding the right house isn’t simply about how many bedrooms are included, you should factor in a number of different things to ensure it has everything you need. This includes:

The area: Ensure that the neighbourhood and local area has everything you are looking for. Do you need to be close to shops or enjoy being further out into the country side? If you commute to work, would you be happy with travelling 10 minutes or 40? Is it an area you would be happy for your children to play outside or is this not an issue? Break all this down when deciding on a general area to start looking around.

Floor plans: Compare the size of rooms and check that you’re happy with where they are located.

Age of the house: Are you looking for a space that you can recreate and renovate or something more updated that needs less maintenance?

Storage space:  We all accumulate one of those drawers or cupboards with odds and ends or simply to store hoovers or a clothes horse. It’s important to ensure you have enough room for these things whether you’re extremely organised or a closet hoarder.

Energy efficiency rating: A house may tick all the right boxes, however, if it has a poor energy rating your bills and running costs could be sky high.

Council tax: Tax bands can vary between houses and areas so it’s important to do your research on the house prior to buying.

Arrange a viewing: Once you’ve taken everything into consideration, it’s important to actually view the property in person. Sometimes photos may not accurately reflect what the property looks like in the flesh.

Make an offer

Once you’re 100% happy and found the perfect home, it’s time to make the seller an offer. This is also where you will finalise the mortgage with your lender. The basic steps will include:

Ringing up the estate agent

Saying you want the house

Giving an offer of the price you want to pay

Once you have negotiated a price that both you’re happy with and they will accept, you’re good to go!

Surveys and Conveyancing

When buying a house, remember somebody else is selling it to you, which is why it’s important to ensure everyone is happy. Not to fret, this is where the solicitors and conveyancers will do all of the work for you. It’s to ensure all contracts, stamp duty, money transfers and structural risks are taken care of.

Exchanging contracts and the big move

Finally, all being well, the sale will be agreed and don’t forget to insure the building! Once all hurdles have been crossed you can pack your bags and move into your new home!

Looking for a new home? We have a range of beautiful properties For Sale. Check them out here: https://www.ellishay.co.uk/sales/residential/

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