Home Buying Tips – Tip 1 – 5

It is the biggest purchase of your life – let’s make sure that you get it right!

Here are the first 5 tips to buying a new home

1. Get financial advice – Day one. I was deliberating this one because I am a broker and I did not want to use this thread to “sell my services”. However what is the point in going shopping without any money?!?

A good Broker can tell you how much money you are going to need for a deposit and fees. He can also work with you to find out how much you can afford and how much you can borrow.

If you are not ready yet he can help draw up a plan to get you in a position to purchase, or if everything “fits” – he can get you an Agreement in Principle from the Lender.

2. List all of the costs

Deposit required Varies
Mortgage Arrangement fee – Typically £500 – £1500
Valuation Fee Typically £200 – £300
Legal Fees Typically £800 – £1000
Stamp Duty 1% of the purchase price over £125,000, 3% over£250,000 as so on
Surveys More detailed surveys cost more money typically £400 – £800
Removals Depends on distances involved
House repairs and furnishings You’ve bought the house, now it’s time to fill it up. Don’t leave yourself so broke you have to sit on the floor!

3. Make a list of Needs and Wants

The Needs are what a property must have. For instance, if it has to have a minimum 3 bedrooms what’s the point in seeing one with 2?

The Wants are what you would like the property to have. You want to find a property with as many of these as possible, but if a property didn’t have some of these it wouldn’t necessarily be a deal breaker.

Just remember to be realistic, if you can’t find that 5 bed Town House in Kensington for £250,000 then perhaps you need to lower your sights.

When you are seeing loads of properties this will help you to keep track and short list those ones for a second viewing.

4. Don’t be shy – in the UK we don’t like to haggle but as the saying goes if you don’t ask you don’t get.

So, these are the golden rules….

  • Set a maximum / “walk away” price.
  • It is all too easy to get carried away whilst bidding but make sure you set a maximum price you are prepared to pay for the property.
  • Start low.

Put in a “cheeky offer” say 10% – 15% below asking price, if you have someone who wants to move in a hurry they might say yes!

If they say no –  ask them what they would accept. Then you can always put in another higher offer…. just remember to walk away when you hit your maximum price.

Usually you will meet somewhere in the middle.

  • Maximise your position.

If you are a first time buyer with no property to sell, tell them that it means you can move quickly.

Tell them you have your finance arranged and have an Agreement in Principle with Solicitors all   tee-d up and ready to go.

Tell them you have a highly motivated broker ( I’m sure I know one of those) who can get everything tied up quickly.

5. Arrange a Mortgage in Principle*

I know I touched on this earlier but the reasons for doing this are important:

1) It gives you a much more accurate reflection on how much you can borrow. A lenders calculator or a comparison site will only give a very rough indication.

2) It stops you falling in love with a property you can’t get the finance for.

3) It strengthens your buying position and show’s you are serious.

4) It can put an end to any Estate agent – “you have to sit down with our adviser……” tricks.

5) It allows you to move fast instead of losing out on a property.

6)  We know in advance if there are any issues on the credit file and arrange a plan to sort them.**

*Be careful about obtaining an agreement in principle from multiple lenders as this could stop you getting any finance for a period of time.

**Did you know a single late payment on a credit card will mean some lenders will not lend to a First Time Buyer

 

        5 More Home Buying Tips in the next blog………….

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Your initial mortgage consultation is obligation free. There may be a fee for our mortgage service of up to £395 though in some circumstances this may be waived. Being independent we also offer a “fee only” option which is typically 1% of the amount borrowed and any commission derived from the lender is returned to you. The precise amount will depend on your circumstances and mortgage loan amount, and will be discussed and agreed on before you make a mortgage application.

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Home Buying Tips – Tips 11-15

It is the biggest purchase of your life – Let’s make sure that you get it right!                  

11. Work out what you can afford

What you can borrow and what you can afford are 2 different things.

  • If you are going to stretch yourselves to buy the biggest property you can afford, will you be happy with the compromises to your lifestyle such as socialising less?
  • Would you be more comfortable spending less and having more disposable income?

This is where a Broker can really help. They can provide “real–world” figures and help you define a realistic budget you are comfortable with.

12. Private deal

If you see a road you would really like to live down, why not write a nice letter and post it through the letterbox’s of houses that you like.  Owners may be keen to sell because they won’t have to pay an Estate Agent’s fees. This can really work!!

13.Buying at auction

  • The Golden rule regarding buying anything at auctions is to go a couple of times before you want to buy – just to get a feel for things.
  • Make sure you get a full survey to make sure you know what you are buying.
  • Get a solicitor to check for legal issues
  • Have a maximum “walk away” price for the property and STICK TO IT!
  • This is different to a normal purchase – as soon as the hammer goes down it will cost a fortune to pull out
  • You will have to pay a 10% deposit, YOU WILL LOSE THIS IF YOU DONT COMPLETE WITHIN THE ALLOTED TIME (USUALLY 4-6 WEEKS)
  • Use a broker to arrange the finance first. The lender he selects may not be based solely on the lowest rate but also the ability to complete quickly.
  • If you have a property to sell then make sure you have completed on the sale before going to auction. As a delay could cost you BIG!

14. Ask them to take the property off the market

Make your offer conditional on the basis that they take their property “off the market”. This will help to stop you being gazumped (where a seller accepts a higher offer having accepted a lower offer).

Either part can pull out right up until exchange of contracts.

15. Minimise your financial exposure

Some property chains are simple -if it’s just you and the seller and both you of you want to complete as quickly as possible then you can pull out all the stops.

However most property chains are more complex and may take longer to form. As soon as you put in an application with a lender they will carry out the valuation/ Survey. This could be up to £1000 (depending on type), the way I work with my clients is to hold off on this until the chain forms. If the chain collapses then you haven’t lost the survey fee.

The same goes with search fee’s (£200 – £250). Get the mortgage offer in place and make sure the chain is fully formed before you fork out!

 

5 More Home Buying Tips in the next blog………….

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Your initial mortgage consultation is obligation free. There may be a fee for our mortgage service of up to £395 though in some circumstances this may be waived. Being independent we also offer a “fee only” option which is typically 1% of the amount borrowed and any commission derived from the lender is returned to you. The precise amount will depend on your circumstances and mortgage loan amount, and will be discussed and agreed on before you make a mortgage application.