Advice for First-Time Home Buyers

A door with a small wreath and a door knocker. Against the white door, there is a wooden welcome ornament.

Advice for First-Time Home Buyers

Buying your first house can be both exciting and daunting. TV shows like Escape to the Country and Location, Location, Location make it look easy. When, in fact, there are many aspects and hidden costs every first-time buyer should know before exchanging contracts.

Agreement in principal

If you’re like the majority of first-time buyers and require a mortgage to purchase your home, you’ll need to secure an agreement in principal.

An agreement in principle is a statement from your lender detailing that ‘in principal’ you can borrow up to a certain amount.

To ensure you get the best mortgage for you, it’s suggested you visit a bank, as well as a broker.

Although brokers do charge for their services, the mortgage they find you may save you more money compared with the bank.

Saving plans

The average deposit paid by first-time buyers is 18%. Obviously, the larger your down payment, the smaller your mortgage. Therefore, the less you’ll have to pay back over time.

With the average cost of a first home creeping ever closer to 250K there are some saving plans that are worth considering.

The Lifetime ISA is the Government’s latest scheme and has replaced the Help to Buy scheme.

There is also the Right to Buy scheme and the Shared Ownership scheme. Each scheme has its own pros and cons.

Conveyancing costs

Conveyancing is the term given to the legal process of transferring ownership of a house. Conveyancers don’t have to be qualified solicitors, but they draw up the contracts for the vendors (sellers) and purchasers (buyers).

The cost of conveyancing can vary wildly depending on where you’re buying and the firm you’re using.

On top of the legal fees, you will also have to pay for searches, land registry fees and other fees – commonly called disbursements.

It’s worth saving an extra 1.5K to ensure you can cover the legal costs.

Other fees

Once you’ve had an offer accepted, you’ll want to pay for a survey or home inspection. Unless you’re purchasing an older property, a standard home buyers survey should suffice.

It will detail any potential problems the property faces. If there are any serious problems, your offer can be renegotiated.

It’s worth finding out about moving costs before you start looking at houses in your dream area. That way, you can get an idea about how much you need to save. This will help, especially how fast the removal companies tend to get booked up.

It’s often finding removal vans on the same dates as other people in the chain that can cause delays in completion.

Home warranties

Often overlooked, home warranties can save you a fortune in the long-term. Home warranties from companies like Warrantywise provide home-owners with complete peace of mind.

As first-time home buyers, the last thing you want to pay for is a home repair on something like a boiler that can end up costing thousands.

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Especially after the thousands you’ve just spent.

The home buying process is a lengthy one, and while it can sometimes be an anxious wait, there are plenty of people on-hand to help you get over the threshold.

Do you have any advice for first-time home buyers?






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