5 February, 2019
Do your New Year’s Resolutions include getting onto the property ladder in 2019?
We want to make sure you’re equipped with the knowledge you need to achieve your dreams and become a homeowner this year.
With Brexit looming, now may seem like a less than advantageous time to consider making an investment. But it might actually make financial sense to buy your first home this year since house prices are lower than this time last year, as you can see in our 2019 property forecast blog.
So, whether you’re a first-time buyer or want to better understand the home-buying process for the future, read on and learn our tips for how to become a homeowner this year.
1. Make sure you’ve saved enough for a deposit
Hopefully, if buying a house has been a goal for a while, you’ve already saved a deposit. Or maybe you’re saving into a Help to Buy ISA or Lifetime ISA, which will allow you to claim up to 25% bonus from the government when you buy a home.
If not, it may still be valuable to open a Help to Buy ISA before they disappear from the market in November 2019. If a Help to Buy ISA is out of your reach, you could choose a Lifetime ISA instead, but you’ll need to delay buying since you can only qualify for the bonus once you’ve saved for a year with them.
Whichever way you save, you’ll need to be aiming to have enough for a deposit of at least 5% on the property of your choice. Nearly all mortgage lenders will require you to have this deposit before they can give you a mortgage.
2. Look into mortgages available
Most mortgage lenders will offer a maximum amount of between 3 and 4.5 times the combined annual incomes of you and any other people you’re buying with, so make sure to keep that in mind when considering properties.
Things that will influence the amount you can borrow from a mortgage lender include your total annual income, as we mentioned before, and your credit history.
You could also consider applying for a mortgage agreement in principle (AIP), which is a document from a lender confirming that they would, in principle, be willing and able to lend you the amount confirmed. You can show this to estate agents to prove your available budget and your seriousness about buying.
3. Research the area you’d like to buy in
When buying a property in an area that’s new to you, researching it on the internet only goes so far. If possible, it’s better to visit the area and get a feel for the location first hand.
If you can, why not try and stay in the area you’re considering for a few nights to see what it’s like in terms of noise level, commute times and general atmosphere? If it is not possible to visit or stay in the Wokingham area, you can always call us and take advantage of our extensive local knowledge and experience. Also, if you’re looking for schools, make sure to research catchment areas and Ofsted ratings. For information on the local schools please read our blog Wokingham’s Local Schools to give you a head start.
4. Begin your house hunt
While it’s all well and good to begin your house hunt on portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla, this shouldn’t be the only place you’re looking and researching. Make sure you also register with estate agents, like us, and start viewing houses to really get a feel both for what’s available in your area and for your budget.
If you’re looking for a property in the Wokingham or Crowthorne areas, register with us at Michael Hardy. We can set up you up with email property alerts and let you know if there are any properties on the market that match your requirements, or you can come and visit us to discuss what’s on the market in the Wokingham and Crowthorne areas.
With our many years of experience we’ll be able to give you an inside view on what’s going on with property prices and developments in the area too.
5. Buying your house
Once you’ve found a property that you can afford and will be happy in, it’s time to put forward an offer. At Michael Hardy, we’ll be able to walk you through this process and make sure that all parties are happy with the price offered.
After this point, you’ll need to apply for your mortgage. Using an independent mortgage broker may help you find the best deal open to you as they have access to all the different rates across all the lenders. For more detailed information on what happens after your offer has been agreed click through and read our blog which will explain the conveyancing process.
Give us a call now to register your property search!