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My first time – buying a house

January 7, 2017

lifestyle, news, uncategorized

Image by Moyan Brenn

Recent reports from the Guardian state that house prices in the UK remained at the same level throughout 2016. It is also predicted that there won’t be much change in 2017. One change however, is that home buyers should find it much easier to be approved for a mortgage this year, as many banks reportedly plan to increase their loan availability.

Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases in life and asking the right questions can save you a lot of money in the future. Read on to discover what essential information you’ll need before making this important decision.

What’s the real cost of buying?

Choosing the right mortgage is extremely important. Ask your bank if they offer any competitive deals if you pay a bigger deposit. Choose your saving account wisely to maximise interest, as saving for a little bit longer will pay off in the future in lower interest.

Calculate the real cost of buying a house by taking some other fees into consideration. Many mortgage providers will ask you to pay an arrangement fee which can cost you up to £1,000. Your lender will also charge you the valuation fee. The total cost will also be influenced by the legal fee or any surveys you decide to undertake.

Think ahead about gas and electricity prices, getting the best tariff and possible wall and loft insulation. Remember to put aside some cash for any emergency DIY works the house might require, and don’t forget that it also needs to be furnished once you move in.

Take your time

After finding the right property and making an offer, it could take several months before the whole transaction is complete and the property is legally yours. It is however advised that you take as much time as possible to make this important decision. Make sure you research the neighbourhood, check what people say about it on the Internet, or how far the nearest school is. To get a real feel of the area, visit at different times of day, have a look at local pubs and shops  and consider staying in a local B&B for a night.

Say hello to your closest neighbours and ask what they like about living in the area. It will also give you a chance to get an impression of who they are and how well they maintain their house. If you particularly like an area, it may be worth writing a letter to explain that you’re looking to buy in the neighbourhood. Someone considering selling their house might contact you and it will not only help get ahead of others, but will also saving you on the agency fee.

Things to look for

Going from one viewing to another can be both exciting and exhausting, but it’s important you think about some of the obvious things to avoid when buying a house. Taking a house survey can cost you a lot of money and often it’s not necessary, especially when you have a closer look. Start by searching for any signs of mould on the walls and inside the cupboards. Look around for cracks or any stains on walls. Open and then close all the doors and windows and check if they are draft proof, as you might feel it on your energy bill. Check if the heating works properly and inspect the plumbing, as well as the outside of the building, including the roof. And the last thing… check if your phone has a signal.

What other advice would you give to a first time buyer?

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