20 December, 2017
Buying your first home is an incredible milestone. We understand that it’s one filled with excitement and possibilities, but also with trepidation and concern about such a commitment.
Here at Michael Hardy, we’ve helped many first-time buyers navigate the path to home ownership, advising them on the best properties to view and helping them to ensure that they get the keys to their dream home. If you, or someone you know, is considering purchasing their first home then here are some things to keep in mind.
One of the first things that first-time buyers have to understand is the cost of a home. Having worked hard to acquire a large deposit and then secure a good mortgage, many first-time buyers are surprised to find that it is still a struggle to afford the kind of home they may have envisaged in their chosen area.
House prices are higher than they have ever been before, making it more difficult for first-time buyers – but certainly not impossible. The first thing we would advise first-time buyers to do is to come and see us, or pick up the phone, so that we can tell them about the local area and the properties that are available. This initial chat can really help to get the search started and help us establish what is important to you in your first home.
Understand all the costs
Another thing that can surprise first-time buyers is quite how much it costs to run a home, particularly one you own yourself. When planning how much you can spend on buying a house, you need to think about how much you can afford in monthly payments. This means not only considering how much your mortgage payments will be but also understanding how much you need to pay out on things such as council tax, home insurance and utility bills. Don’t get caught out stretching yourself to buy an expensive house and then realise you need to pay all these extras too. In terms of your mortgage, it is always worth speaking to an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA), not just your bank, to see if they can get you a better rate through a different lender. If you need a recommendation, we can pass you on the name of a great IFA that many of our clients have used.
It all takes time
Due to all the legal procedures that need to be fulfilled even the most rapid of house purchases takes time, so be realistic about how long it will take before you are in your first home. On average we advise that a home purchase takes around 10 - 12 weeks, but every set of circumstances is different. Much depends on whether you are in a chain or not. Waiting isn’t easy, but if you are realistic at the outset about how long it will take then this is made a little easier.
As buying a house can be quite a daunting process it is always important that you engage a good high-street solicitor to act on your behalf and hold your hand through the purchase. We can put you in touch with a couple of local solicitors should you not have a recommendation already.
To help you better understand the sales process once your offer has been accepted, we have put together a sales guide that may answer some of your initial questions, click here to download your copy. If you can’t find the answer to your query there, then don’t hesitate to call us - one of our Sales Team will always be on hand to answer your question no matter how silly you think it may be!
The day you get the keys is one you’ll never forget
The key thing to remember when buying your first home is the pay-off – a home to call your own. We think it’s one of life’s most exciting and rewarding experiences. The day you collect the keys, open the front door and know that you own it all is something you won’t ever forget.
We’d love to be part of your first-time buyer adventure. If the Wokingham and Crowthorne areas are where you dream of setting up your first home, please give us a call today so we can get your search started.