It's an exciting time – you've had your mortgage application accepted, you're ready to fly the nest and you've starting looking at your dream first home. Yet many people make common mistakes, which prevent them from finding the perfect home at the perfect price. By reading these mistakes which first time buyers often make you could get the most out of your purchase.
- Not knowing what you can afford. We all dream of the bigger house but you'll soon regret not looking at your finances when you've viewed 20 houses and then realise you can't afford any of them. Using a mortgage calculator will help you to determine how much you can pay monthly on a house.
- Lacking vision and being too picky. It's your first home and you want things to be perfect but if you can't see through the decor issues then you aren't going to get anywhere. If the home meets your needs in terms of location and size, smaller issues such as the bathroom suite can be replaced later.
- Not doing a further inspection. It's extremely important to get a full inspection done as well as looking thoroughly when you visit. Be brave and ask the agent and seller questions and if you think you see a problem, mention it. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a financial whirlpool dealing with DIY disasters and architectural problems.
- Not thinking about the future. This isn't to say that you should buy a 5-bedroom house in case you have lots of children but be realistic. It is also important to question what kind of development plans there are for the neighbourhood.
- Not taking your credit score seriously. Your credit rating determines whether or not your mortgage application will be accepted so it needs to be taken seriously. Being on the electoral register is one way that improves your credit rating and is often overlooked. If you have a poor credit rating there are a number of ways to repair it with ease.
- Underestimating the total cost. You may have budgeted for the property cost but have you thought about removal companies, renovation projects and new furniture? In addition to this, you will need to take into consideration the extra hidden costs related to mortgage fees as well as legal fees and stamp duty.
- Choosing the wrong mortgage. Mortgages can be a confusing process anyway let alone when there are so many to choose from. It's important to speak to an expert to decipher which one best meets your needs and use a mortgage calculator to see how much your monthly repayments will be.
- Overspending on a house. Before you start, create a budget and stick to it. Rather than being caught up in the moment and accepting that higher mortgage rate, stay within your original financial plan. Typically, a bigger house means more expensive utility bills, which in turn can affect you negatively if you fail to take this into consideration.
- Not visiting the property multiple times. This is one of the biggest decisions of your life so make it count. As well as visiting the property more than once, you should also take a drive around the neighbourhood, day and night. This will ensure that you have made the perfect decision and you’ll be able to sleep on it.
- Limiting your search. Most buyers have a particular location in mind and whilst this can work to your advantage, it can also limit you massively. Your dream home could be in the next town and by searching that little bit further you may find something you didn’t even know you were looking for.
Buying a house first time can stressful and overwhelming but if you're aware of the downfalls that others have made then you will be able to protect yourself from a costly mistake. Happy house hunting! If you would like any more information, then please get in touch with one of our experts.