Moving can be hard on first-time buyers. Buying a property for the first time can be a very big decision, particularly if you’re buying one as a couple. Along with the financial implications is the feeling that you’ll finally have a place of your own, and it can be exciting to think about exactly what you’re going to do with the house and how you’ll make it your own.
It’s truly an exciting time, but it can also be stressful as you’re constantly checking out new houses, answering peoples’ questions and wondering when you’re going to find that perfect property.
Here are five tips to help the process go as easily as possible:
Compare prices in the area
First time buyers sometimes don’t mind paying extra for a special house in the area they’re looking in, when in reality it may be very uneconomical to do so. It’s very important to check the price of similar houses in the area to ensure the favoured house is not comparatively overpriced. For example, you shouldn’t pay £200,000 for a semi-detached house when similar houses in the area are going for £175,000. A better idea may be to buy a cheaper one and use the money saved to make it meet your standards.
Your house is not only an investment
It’s important you don’t only treat your house as a financial investment. Can you see yourself living there for years into the future? If not you should continue looking until you find a house that feels like a home. The housing market fluctuates regularly and buying a house solely on the basis of a sound financial investment is not a good idea as its price may drop heavily in the future. Buy what you love and it’ll treat you right.
Bear in mind the financial implications
Pick the house you love, but don’t lose sight of the fact that you’ll have to pay for it! Work out how much you’ll have per month based on your (combined) salaries and how much you expect bills and your mortgage to be. You want to have some left over for treats, savings and emergencies. Don’t stretch your budget too far or you may find yourself regretting it at a later date. And don’t forget you can help your budget by getting things like removals quotes early – by requesting quotes early you can shop around for the best deal.
Buy cheaply at first
Buying a house is only the first expense; kitting it out can add several thousand pounds onto the overall cost. And you do need a great deal of items, including sofas, beds, dressers, fridges and freezers. Buying these items brand new will attract a massive premium, so why not see how you can by buying second hand? Freecycle is an online community of members offering items for free; eBay is also a good choice, and so is Gumtree.
Ask family and friends for help
Family and friends often have items they simply don’t need, and by asking around you can get a lot of miscellaneous possessions that would otherwise cost quite a bit of money to buy. From tables and chairs to kitchen utensils, speak to your family and see what’s on offer. If you feel guilty about taking them, offer to take them out for dinner, clean the car or complete a DIY job. Many family members are only too happy to help