Buying a home
Buying a home is becoming increasingly more difficult. With mortgages hard to find, deposits for first-time buyers getting higher and higher and fewer properties being available on the market, getting what you want and where you want it is not easy. Let us help you along the way with advice and tips on buying a home.
The ever-rising cost of housing, way out of line with inflation, has made it extremely difficult for first-time buyers. Because of this, people are increasingly seeking alternative methods of getting on the property ladder. Buying with your friends, colleagues or family are two options becoming evermore popular, but another alternative is to take part in a shared ownership scheme. A shared ownership scheme allows you to buy a percentage of your home, and pay rent on the remainder. The main benefit of these schemes is that you only have to find the deposit for the percentage of the property that you are buying. You also have the option of increasing the percentage of the property you own as and when you can afford it. Many of these homes are newly built and suited to first-time buyers. Properties come with initial shares starting from around 25% and the deposits being much lower than if you were buying 100% of the property. All come with the eventual option of owning the whole property at some time if you are able to afford to.
Housing authorities across the country have differing criteria for who can and can’t participate in shared-ownership schemes. To find out if you are eligible, take a look at the Communities and Local Government Advice website.
Finding A Property
Finding the home you want in the area you’d like to live in close to the schools and amenities you need and at a price to fit your budget, is a tall order. With fewer properties coming onto the market, and most people having access to the internet where all the properties can be seen, you have to be well prepared in order to be one of the first potential buyers to view a property. Although all properties being sold do end up on the internet, if you are registered with the estate agents local to the are you wish to buy in, you can often find out about new properties to the market a day or two before they end up online. It’s not unusual for a property to be seen and an offer accepted before a properties details find their way online.
Here are some useful tips to keep in mind that will help you when viewing a house:
- View the properties as soon as possible. Leave it too long and you could lose out.
- Be prepared, take a print out of our viewing checklist and take it with you.
- Research the property and surrounding area thoroughly before arranging an appointment. You don’t want to waste time viewing a property that you find backs onto a factory, if that’s not what you want. A search on online via googlemaps and could have told you that before you made the appointment.
- Use every opportunity to view properties, such as lunch hours and journeys too and from work.
- Score a property out of 10 for all the major considerations like area, amenities, schools, your commute, public transport, the garden, decoration, room size etc. This will help you to decide which property is best for you.
- If the property needs any work doing to it, make numerous visits with tradesmen to find out what the work will cost.
- Don’t be afraid to look thoroughly around the house including inside cupboards, under stairs, in the loft etc, and ask lots of questions. It’s important to know that the seller is not obliged to tell you for example that the house has a damp problem, but should you ask the question, they should answer you truthfully.
Making An Offer
We all like to think we’ve made a good deal and it’s natural to want to bid lower than the asking price, but if it really is the home you want, and it appears to be a a reasonable price for the area, you should seriously consider offering the asking price. By doing so you will be taken seriously, there shouldn’t be any time-wasting and it will be less likely that someone else will gazump you.
If your offer is accepted, you would be wise to insist that the ‘for sale’ sign be replaced with a ‘sold’ sign to dissuade others from trying to arrange a viewing. You should also insist that all online ads are taken down to prevent any further interest.
Unfortunately, one in three property chains, fail to complete as originally planned. There are many reasons why a chain can fail, often, totally unrelated to the property you are buying, or selling. The best way to ensure that your chain progresses as smoothly as possible is through good communication. That is where a good conveyancer is invaluable. An efficient and proactive conveyancer will keep in regular touch with other conveyancers and estate agents involved in the chain making sure that everything possible is being done to speed things along.
Use our conveyancing comparison service and should your chain break down, you won’t have to pay a fee.
Read our Guide to finding a home