Are you looking to buy your first home but not sure where to start? McEwan Fraser Legal shares our top 10 tips for first time buyers looking to get onto the property ladder.
Make sure you can afford it
Avoid setting yourself up for a disappointment by getting your sums straight first. You’ll need a deposit of at least 5% of the property price – but the more you can put down the lower rate you’ll get on your mortgage.
Remember you’ll also need to save enough money to cover your legal fees, stamp duty and moving costs etc.
Consider making a budget plan and make a commitment to saving a set amount each month.
Consider Government schemes
The Government offers a whole range of schemes to help first-time buyers ranging from Help to Buy ISA, LIFT scheme to shared ownership.
Secure a mortgage agreement in principle
Once you’ve found the right mortgage, you can get an agreement in principle from your chosen mortgage lender, after they have run a credit check on you. It’s not a commitment to either you or the mortgage lender, but it does let you start house hunting at ease, as the first stage of the approval process is out the way.
Do your research
Now your budget is established, you can search for homes you know you can afford. But preparation is key and, as ever, start with location. This is the most important factor as it’s the one that can’t be changed.
In terms of the property itself, think very carefully about your requirements and narrow them down to must-haves and nice-to-haves. List these down, remain focused on them and your search will be a lot easier.
Viewings are key
Take your time when you view the property, if you need to view it more than once or bring family and friends for second opinion, just do it!
Ask direct questions on viewing, such as if there have been any major works or extensions to the property?
House purchases rarely stick to the expected time frames. It might take you several months to find your ideal property, and then the transaction can take a while as well. It’s probably one of the biggest financial commitments you’ll make in your lifetime, so it’s important not to rush it.
Appoint a solicitor
Instructing an approachable and proactive solicitor can help your transaction run as smoothly as possible. At McEwan Fraser Legal, our experienced conveyancing team will be happy to guide you through the process.
Remember to negotiate
It’s always worth negotiating on the price – as a first-time buyer with nothing to sell, you’re in a strong position.
You’re ready to go!
Once your offer has been accepted, all you need to do is arrange when to pick up the keys and start ordering in your new furnitures. When you have completed your move, don’t forget to crack open a bottle of bubbly and sit down and relax before the housewarming commence!
Make a Will
Now that you are a homeowner you need to think about making a Will. This is vital if you want to ensure your assets are passed onto your loved ones when you pass away.
For further information about buying your first home, please contact a member of our buying team – 0131 524 9797.