|Buying your first home is a huge decision and can seem a daunting prospect. At Platinum Properties, we have helped numerous customers take the plunge and will be delighted to help you do the same. Our staff are fully trained to help you at each stage of the process and will provide you with free, friendly and detailed advice. If you wish to take advantage of this, simply contact our office.
Here a few general tips to…
- Knowledge is Power! – First time buyers need to now as much as they can about the market. Research the area where you are considering buying. What are the facilities like? What about transport links? Check on the internet or visit the area in person to get a real idea of what it might be like to live there.
- How much can I spend? – Traditionally mortgage lenders have offered 3 to 3½ times borrower’s salary, or 2½ times joint earnings. But wages are not the only factor in affording mortgage repayments – it is critical to get the right advice and we can help. Our affiliate company, Platinum Independent Financial Planning Ltd., can provide free advice on how much you can borrow, what deposit you will need and how much to allow for all the costs. It is best to take this step before you start viewing to ensure you are looking at appropriately priced properties.
- Don’t stretch too far – Remember it is not simply the mortgage to pay each month. First time buyers, particularly those who have been living at home with parents, are often taken by surprise by the other costs that need to be taken into account when you own your own place – heating, lighting, telephone, council tax…calculate the likely ongoing costs of these items before finalising the maximum price you will pay for your first home.
- View a selection of properties – Ensure you have a good look round at a number of potential properties and list the pros and cons of the ones you see. Don’t be dazzled by a new bathroom or kitchen, the position of the property is the first thing to focus on as it is the one thing you can’t change. Secondly, consider the size and layout…will this suit you? Finally, assess the general state of repair and décor of the property, as though they can be changed, there will be costs attached.
- Narrow down the options – Arrange to have another look at the one or two suitable options you have identified and make a list of any questions. Ask the agent or owner for the answers – for example how much is the council tax or what are the neighbours like?
- Decision made, time to make an offer – Approach the estate agent and put your offer forward. You do not have to offer the asking price, however if you don’t, the property will continue to be shown to other potential interested parties until you have agreed a price. The estate agent is legally obliged to put forward any offers to the seller and will report back to you on the outcome of your initial offer.
- Initial offer rejected? – You will need to decide whether to increase your offer or not. This decision should be based on whether the property is definitely the one for you and still represents a fair price at a higher figure. A small increase should not make a big difference to your monthly outgoings, and if prices rise over the time you own the property (by no means a guarantee of course!!), the small increase you pay will soon be swallowed up by that increase. If you do not want to increase your offer, explain that to the agent and move on to negotiations on another suitable property or start viewing others.
- Offer accepted and Purchase agreed – You now need to appoint somebody to handle the legal process (“conveyancing”). We can recommend firms with an excellent track record in handling sale and purchase of residential properties. To arrange a free conveyancing quote contact the Platinum Properties team.
- Conveyancing Process – The process between agreeing your purchase and moving in can often take several months, and it is important that you respond swiftly and accurately. Your conveyancer will advise you as the process unfolds as to what you need to do and when. Any queries you have can be directed to your conveyance or to any member of the Platinum Properties team. Before you know it, you will be collecting the keys for your new home and moving in!!