What to consider before getting your first house

Owning your own property is every person’s dream, however, you should never rush into buying your first home, there are many things you need to consider first.  By jumping feet first into purchasing a new home you may end owning a property you are not happy with, have paid too much for or is not suitable for your personal and financial situation.  Remember, buying a property is an investment, one that will be an expense for years to come but will provide you with an element of financial stability, if you do it right.

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Before you even begin to look for a property to buy, consider the following:

1) What do you intend to do with the property?

Will you be living there?  If so will you be living alone or with other people?  In the long term, is this intended to be your family house?  Alternatively, are you renting the property out?  If so, what kind of tenant would you like, families, students, couples, singles?  The answers to these questions will all impact upon the type of property you should be viewing.

2) What is your budget?

Think about what you can reasonably afford, it’s a nice idea to go out and buy your family home right now, but if all you can afford is a modest two bed, you might have to compromise. It is a good idea to sit down with a financial advisor who will review your financial situation and give you an idea as to what you can realistically afford for your monthly mortgage fees.  Also consider the amount of deposit you have saved to make sure you can afford the minimum deposit for a property.

3) What are the hidden costs?

Consider the cost involved with actually buying a property, this includes estate agent fees, solicitor fees and other charges such as stamp duty, valuation fees and the costs associated with setting up a mortgage with a bank.  Also consider things like on-going maintenance for the property, owning it you will be responsible for this, is something like a boiler breaking down in winter an expense you can afford?

4) Will you be suitable for a mortgage deal?

In order to receive a mortgage from a bank you need to have a good credit score and an excellent financial history, amongst other things.  Before you start looking at properties you need to first ensure that you will be given a mortgage by somebody and gain an understanding as to how much this would be for.  It is a good idea to see a mortgage advisor to discuss this.

5)Which estate agent will you use?

This is incredibly important as estate agent fees are usually quite high, a good estate agent will help you to choose a property that suits your needs and at the lowest price, regardless of how this impacts upon their commission.  Try to select an estate agent that will work with you to get a bargain deal on your property.

6) Are there any good properties available at a cheaper price?

Often people looking to buy property avoid the typical estate agent route and instead look at alternative means of purchasing a house, for example going to an auction.  A popular alternative is to look at below market value property deals, which is simply buying a property that is valued at a lower rate than other similar properties on the market.  There are plenty of investment companies that have a portfolio of below market value properties available for potential investors.

7) What are you looking for in a property?

This includes deciding the desired location of the property as this will impact how much properties cost, and therefore what size property you can afford.  There are also other things you need to consider about your property, such as can you afford to refurbish it or do you need a property that is modern and needs little work.

Now, having considered these points, you are ready to begin your property search. Happy house hunting!

Izzy represents Diamond Interiors’ UK following. With her very keen eye for style and design, she is an absolute wealth of information and advice in the world of interiors. To read more from Izzy, visit her blog: The Home of Inspiration.

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