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7 Essential Tips for First Time Homebuyers


Buying your first house is a monumental moment in your life. It’s also a stressful and seemingly never-ending one. To help make the process that little bit easier, here are seven tips to take into account.

Picture of a set of keys relating to property
Photo by Tierra Mallorca on Unsplash

1. Understand the true cost of purchasing a house

When you think about raising funds for your first house, your focus will generally be on the deposit. However, there are other costs involved when buying a property – and these need to be factored into your budget. These include:

  • Stamp duty
  • Conveyancing solicitors
  • House survey
  • Removals
  • Estate agent fees (if applicable)
  • Energy Performance Certificate (if applicable)

For a better insight into how much money you’ll need, it’s advised to use a moving cost calculator.

2. Maximise property viewings

When viewing a property, you must get as much information as possible. That means asking plenty of questions and looking out for certain details around the home. Some finer points to keep in mind include:

  • Damp
  • Ceiling damage
  • Marks and stains under mats/rugs
  • Observe outside walls
  • Count the number of power outlets

When going around properties, it’s also advised to take photos of each one. View several houses one after the other, and it can soon become difficult to differentiate them in your mind. Pictures help to refresh your mind and ensure you know what each property brings to the table.

3. Research the neighbourhood

As emphasised in the previous point, there are various aspects you need to research when selecting the right house. One of the biggest aspects is the actual neighbourhood where your potential house is situated.

Imagine the scenario: you go through the exhausting and time-consuming process of buying a house. Finally, after all the stress and effort, you get to settle down and unwind in your new living room. Then suddenly you hear the booming music coming from next door, which goes on beyond midnight and makes you realise your perfect home isn’t so perfect after all.

This is why you must research the neighbourhood. Visit multiple times across the week and at different times. After all, the perfect house at 9am might not be the same in the evenings. Also, have a walk around, chat with the residents, and see what facilities are nearby. The more you know now, the less nasty surprises you’ll have when you move in.

4. Research the amount to offer

The internet isn’t just great for searching for potential homes. Sites like Rightmove and Zoopla also supply fantastic insight into how properties have sold within the local area. With this type of information in your hands, you will have a greater idea about what type of offer should be made on your property of choice.

A house survey is also another possible opportunity to renegotiate on the asking price. If the survey reveals issues such as structural deficiencies, you can factor this into a price reduction on the property.

5. Receive professional assistance

When it comes to something as complex and confusing as buying a house, there’s no point in going it alone. You want to receive professional assistance in various steps along the way, from a house surveyor to a removal company to move your possessions on the big day.

Another big help can be an independent mortgage broker. Arranging a mortgage can be not only difficult but also stressful – and it may also be the difference between you purchasing a house or not. With a specialist in your corner, you will gain access to the expertise and lending options that will ensure the best mortgage terms for your needs. To work with an experienced mortgage specialist, visit:

6. Have an ‘agreement in principle’ for your mortgage

Speaking of mortgages, it’s advised you have an ‘agreement in principle’ before making an offer on the house. This is essentially confirmation, in writing, which states the amount a lender is willing to give you to purchase a property.

With an ‘agreement in principle’ at your disposal, you could have a key advantage over any potential buyers you’re competing against. This is because it demonstrates to sellers that you’re a serious buyer, one that has the necessary finances ready to go should they accept your offer.

7. Stay patient

As mentioned already, buying your first home is not something that can be completed swiftly. There’s a lot of time, effort, and paperwork required before you can dream of setting foot in your first house. As a result, always remain patient during the process, and you’ll have a much smoother transition when you make a move.