Preparing to Buy a House? Here’s Our Advice

 

For most, buying property will be the biggest purchase you can ever make. So, as a first-time buyer, this could be the most important moment of your life to date. This thought alone is anxiety inducing, meaning this time can prove to be very stressful, especially if you fail to prepare correctly.

On the other hand, you may be well seasoned in purchasing property and be adding to a portfolio; however, I’m sure you could still agree that these kinds of purchases should be marked as a significant occasion.

As this is a significant occasion, it should be treated with time and care, to avoid over excitement and/or stress, which could lead to silly mistakes that you will have to pay for later down the line.

Budget

Buying a property means tightening your belt and being realistic about how much you can really afford per month.

Even if you have been renting prior to this, there is a big difference in spending when entering into a mortgage agreement.

To avoid getting yourself into debt, you want to realistically assess your monthly incomings against your outgoings, and from that, make a decision regarding the affordability of your mortgage.

This will allow for you to view potential properties with a Mortgage Agreement in Principle from your preferred provider, which can give you the confidence in knowing how much money you can borrow and what exactly you can afford, allowing you to act much faster when you find the potential home of your dreams.

Survey

We can appreciate just how expensive purchasing a property can be. Often, it’s the hidden expenses which you may not consider initially that pile up in the background.

However, do not cut corners when these added expenses show up, these are often the most important steps.

It’s shocking how many buyers simply rely on their lender’s valuation of the property they wish to buy.

We can’t emphasise enough how important it is to use an experienced surveyor to examine the property and identify any areas which may cause issues further down the line. This step may save you thousands in future repairs and maintenance, as you can negotiate a purchase price which considers any repairs which are needed.

Research

No one wants to move into their new ‘dream house’ and discover that the location is not what they expected.

You could be someone who works nights, but moves into a house close to a school, so get woken up every day by noisy school children.

Or the opposite, you could be a family who discover that the school run is now a logistical nightmare because you’re too far away, or the traffic on your road means you now need to set off thirty minutes earlier.

It is important that you thoroughly research the area you wish to move to, before you do so, to make sure that it fits in with your lifestyle and future plans.

Visit at different times of the day on different days of the week. Get a feel for traffic levels and see what amenities are nearby. If you run out of milk at 10pm at night, is there a garage to run to quickly? These are all very important things to investigate.

Expenses

As we have already mentioned, there are lots of hidden costs which come with buying a property, and even though you may have budgeted for your mortgage, there are still more costs to consider.

Budgeting for your mortgage and for moving in expenses are two separate things, which should be treated as such.

Expenses such as removal firms must be considered as they can add increasing strain to your budget. We recommend you look for reliable companies with good reviews. Try to obtain three quotes minimum and compare costs.

Other expenses include, the price of a conveyancer, which we’ll discuss below. There are also admin fees for the transfer of an existing mortgage; or any changes of details for any existing building insurance; as well as transfer of water, broadband and energy to your new property.

Conveyancing

This is another vital step which can save you money in the long run, if you instruct a trusted professional.

As the amount of money you spend in this process racks up, this may be the time you consider cutting corners and going for the cheapest option, but instructing a conveyancing specialist with the correct qualifications, will work out far cheaper in the long run.

Choosing a firm of solicitors which is a member of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) will guarantee that firm’s commitment and investment to ensure exceptional levels of client care, staff training and procedural standards are adhered to. The scheme is supported by the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the Building Societies Association and the Association of British Insurers. Only conveyancing firms that are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) can be members of the CQS but not all SRA regulated firms are members of the CQS. Buyers can check whether a firm is CQS accredited through the Find a Solicitor service on Law Society’s website.

It is often found that an estate agents recommended conveyancing service, may be due to ongoing fees from the conveyancers, to encourage business. Often when people go into buying a house, they’re not sure of all of these steps, so will opt for the estate agents’ recommendations. Our advice would be to ask about amongst your friends and family and see if they have recommendations.

Emotions

Buying a property, whether it be on your own or with a partner, can be an emotional time for most. It’s very common for people to make decisions with their hearts and not their heads.

This can cause people to rush into buying a property which may not be right for them because they got over excited.

Ruling with emotions above sense can be a costly mistake when making a purchase like this. People who do this may end up rushing into buying another house a couple years later and make the same mistakes.

In this case it is better to slow down, and take your time when buying a property. Make a list of must haves and must not haves; as well as a list of pros and cons once you have found a property you like. Be realistic and thorough about what you find. One small con right now, might be the cause for major headache later down the line.

We are here to help

Whether you are a first-time buyer looking to purchase your first home or a seasoned buyer with a considerable portfolio, our conveyancing specialists have the experience to assist you at every step of the process. Mulderrigs, now a part of the Farleys Solicitors family offer a wide range of legal services to help you through the process of purchasing property. Get in touch with the team today on 0800 0523 693 or send your enquiry by email.