Buying a house is a stressful process for anyone, and if it’s your first house you’ll be ridiculously excited at the prospect of having something with your name on that is exclusively yours. As first-time buyers, you’re probably thinking about looking for a house that suits you now, as looking too far ahead isn’t the done thing. Plus, you can always sell your house and buy again anyway, right?
Wrong. Buying a house can be boring. Unfortunately, it’s not all paint swatches and interior design tips, much as you wish it could be! There are some essential pieces of information that first-time buyers need to know about before they go ahead and start the process of finding a mortgage and a new home. Feet on the ground and eyes open, everyone, because this information may be the boring bits of buying but these are the bits you need to know:
You Need Advice: This is an absolute must. First-timers often have stars in their eyes and grand plans for their new ‘pad’ but it isn’t all envisioning luxury and house parties. It may feel like an unnecessary expense, but getting sound advice is a must. Having someone delve into your finances and tell you exactly where you stand is invaluable information and a great starting point.
You Need Savings: Buying a house takes a sizeable deposit. This means saving every single penny you can for a number of years. The mistake buyers make though, is that they believe once they’ve got their deposit they’ve reached the finishing line. You’ll need to have money put aside for ‘just in case’ expenses because even if you have saved enough for 20% of a house cost, the bank won’t care about that. You need money for stamp duties, taxes, structural building surveys if you are buying a fixer-upper, transaction fees and legal fees. The list goes on and on. Savings take time and planning so save for what you need as a deposit, and then some.
You Need Legal: Not just about financial advice, you’ll need a solicitor. The mortgage lender than you have chosen may already have their own solicitor that you can use, but it’s always good advice to go and get your own legal ear. Check that they are properly accredited and get some reviews on their services.
You Will Get Stressed: Stress comes hand in hand with a house move and if you are buying with a partner, prepare for the strain it will put on you. That’s not us trying to be negative, but you need to understand the realities of buying your own home for the first time. It’s a huge step into adulthood and it changes people – not always for the better. Prepare to go in together at every meeting and hurdle and you’ll get through it.
Never lose sight of the excitement of buying your first home, but keep your head out of the clouds and be aware of the situation around you. It may be boring to listen to jargon, but it’ll save you money in the end!