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First Time Buyer

Buying a house is one of the most important purchases you will make, and buying a home for the first time will be an even more daunting prospect. Add to this the vast array of mortgage products available, not all of which will be available to you because of a number of circumstances and you could be left with a high-stress, confusing decision. This is why you need a broker and hopefully Money Sage to help you. We are able to consider your individual circumstances and match those circumstances to the lender or lenders that we believe will grant you the mortgage. Can you imagine trawling the high street from lender to lender only to be told no or even if they say maybe is it enough on which to put an offer on your new home.

To help you with making the right decision we have put together 10 top tips for you:
  1. Ensure that you are realistic when working out exactly how much you can afford to spend on your new house. You should ensure the intended mortgage is affordable by doing a budget calculation. We can guide you through this if help is required. Even a newly built house will require some sort of furnishings, whereas older properties may require extensive work, such as re-flooring, tiling or renewing the wiring. Make sure that you factor in all these likely expenses, in addition to the purchase price, and other fees such as conveyancing and stamp duty.
  2. It is wise to seek a Decision in Principle Certificate (available through Money Sage), so that you know how much you can offer once you have found a suitable property.
  3. When buying for the first time, there may be a number of details in the houses you are looking at, which you may not pick up. Always take an experienced home buyer, such as one of your parents, or a home-owning friend, when looking at property. If this is difficult to arrange, then make sure you at least get some assistance once you have selected a property you like and are arranging a second viewing.
  4. Ask about the construction of the property as mortgages are not always given on every type of house of flat. We can advise you if the property may be problematical.
  5. If you are thinking of buying a flat; check details such as lease trem left or if share of freehold, service charges and ground rent.
  6. If you have been used to living at home with your parents, remember to budget for expenses such as council tax, gas and electricity bills, boiler servicing, and other home repairs. Make sure you know what the likely council tax charge will be in your new property. The selling agent should be able to tell you what tax band the house you are interested in buying is in, and how the charges are levied by your local authority.
  7. Even if you do not have children, remember that property in the catchment area of good local schools will always be much easier to sell on. However, this may also be reflected in a higher purchase price. Always consider how your transport arrangements will change in your new house. If you have a car, your insurance premium may increase dramatically if you move from a town with relatively low crime into a city centre with higher crime rates or if you move from your parents’ house with a locked garage to a smaller terraced house with on-street parking.
  8. Consider the availability of public transport services, making sure you find out local bus routes, the frequency of train services from your nearest station, and, if you are moving a long distance, the range of flights available from your local airport. Even if you drive everywhere, this information will be useful for anyone coming to visit you who does not drive.
  9. Write down a list of local amenities which are important to you. This may include shops, restaurants, pubs, sports centres, parks, and cinemas. If you enjoy activities such as walking, or cycling, the neighbourhood you plan to move in to may be very different to the one your parents are living in, and may not have the same access to parks and other recreational facilities. Before making any final decision about where to move to, take a stroll or bike ride around the local area, and note down where the key facilities are.
  10. Try, where possible, to find somewhere to live that is close to your main place of work. Commuting can be one of the biggest household expenses, and as you are likely to be spending much more time on domestic chores and/or DIY, living somewhere which minimises your commuting distance will be very important. If property is more expensive nearer to your place of work, make sure you weigh up this additional expense, when compared to the costs and time of commuting. You may wish to ask colleagues in your workplace to see if there are possibilities to lift share with anyone from the area.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.