If you’re looking to buy a house there are a few things you’ll need to think about before committing. Here we list 10 things to consider before taking the plunge and making a purchase.
1. Find Out Your Budget
It’s amazing how many buyers start viewing properties before they’ve even found out what their budget is. Many buyers have a vague idea and start looking well before getting the finance in place, only to find out they can’t borrow as much as they thought.
So, before you start viewing properties and putting in offers, get in touch with a mortgage advisor to find out exactly how much you can borrow.
They’ll also be able to tell you how much your monthly repayments will be, which will allow you to work out how much disposable income you’ll have left each month.
2. Have Your Finances in Place… And Factor in Additional Costs
If your money is tied up in long-term funds or accounts then it may not be easy to access immediately, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get your funds released, and ideally transfer it into an instant access account when you’re ready to make a purchase.
It will save a lot of potential aggravation further down the line and will help to speed up the process if you have your funds readily available.
Another thing to consider is the additional costs that come with buying a property. Things like conveyancing fees and removal costs are unavoidable, but you’ll also want to think about items you’ll want in the property, such as furniture, electrical appliances, carpets and so on. After all, there’s no point in blowing your budget on a property if you can’t afford to furnish it!
3. Find the Right Location
Think about your current circumstances as well as your future ones. Do you need to be close to a train station? Is there a primary school close by?
Different buyers want different things when it comes to location, so think about what’s important to you and what’s not so essential.
4. Consider Outside Space
The recent Coronavirus pandemic has changed a lot of people’s attitudes towards what they’re looking for in a property, with gardens being a huge positive for buyers.
You might not consider a garden to be essential, but having an outside space, even if it’s a small courtyard or a communal area can be very beneficial to your mental wellbeing.
5. Think About Office Space
It’s not just gardens that have become more important to buyers during the pandemic. With millions of people now having the option to work from home, properties with home offices have seen an increase in demand too.
So, if you’re one of the many people who’ll be spending more time working at home in the future, then a property with a study or the space for at least a desk may be perfect.
6. Does the Property Have Potential?
It’s worth considering what value you may be able to add to the property in future, or what a future buyer may see in it.
For example, is there space to add an extra bedroom or a conservatory? And if you’re only planning to own the property for a couple of years before moving on, is it likely to increase in value? Does it have good transport links or new facilities being built nearby for example?
7. What Condition Should the Property be in?
Are you looking for a house that’s ready to move into tomorrow, or are you happy to spend time and money bringing it up to scratch?
You’ll need to consider these options when you’re looking around and potentially adjust your budget accordingly.
8. Find a Good Conveyancer
You don’t need to have a conveyancer in place before you start viewing properties, but the earlier you find one the smoother the process will be.
Get several quotes and ask family and friends and your estate agent if they can recommend anyone. A good, recommended conveyancer will help to keep the whole buying process as stress-free as possible.
9. Understand What’s Included
Try and find out which fixtures and fittings are included as soon as possible in the buying process, as it will allow you to work out if you need to budget for anything extra.
For example, appliances such as fridges, freezers and washing machines will probably not be included as part of the purchase, which could lead to several hundred pounds of additional costs to consider.
10. Keep Your Spending in Check Before You Buy
Remember, if you’re taking out a mortgage, your lender will be taking a deep look into your finances. Therefore, it’s a good idea to get them in check before starting the whole process.
Don’t go loading up your credit card with purchases, and if you’re able to pay off debts or make them more manageable, it will go a long way to helping you get approved for a mortgage.
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