Anyone who’s thinking about buying property for the first time may feel overwhelmed by everything they don’t know! There are so many details entailing buying a house which need to be addressed in a specific order. These may be financial aspects, like figuring out how to pay for it, or negotiation of your offer, or legal issues which demand a solicitor’s advice. The final and most satisfying phase, moving into your new home, is easy to reach if you approach each phase of house-buying step by step.
Work out how much you can afford
The very first place to start is figuring out your budget for buying a house. This means figuring out how much of a down payment you can afford and calculating the maximum loan amount you can apply for.
The amount you can borrow will depend upon the type of house you want to buy and how much you earn. Therefore, it’s a good idea to spend some time working out how much you can afford to spend on a property at the start of the process.
Doing this will help you to avoid disappointments or financial problems further down the line.
Have a look at your credit rating
When you look at getting a mortgage you’ll need to have your credit in order. You certainly don’t want to get your heart set on buying a property only to find out that you still have credit problems that need resolving.
If you do this nice and early, you can probably sort out any credit issues before you apply for a mortgage. There might be a problem that you weren’t aware of. There may possibly be something that was marked incorrectly on your credit record and needs to be corrected.
If you have left your credit-cleanup too late, you might need to look at alternatives such as asking a relative to act as a guarantor for you.
Get some savings built up
You will be amazed at how quickly your savings get eaten up when you buy a house. First of all, there is the down-payment to be applied to the house of your dreams.
After this, you need to think about moving costs, your first month’s bills, furniture, decorating outlays and all of the other expenses that come with owning a property. You don’t want to move in and immediately start worrying about how you are going to afford the bills for the next month.
All in all, the sooner you start to build up some savings, the more relaxed you will feel about your finances and the happier your early days in the house will be.
Find the right area
Choosing the neighbourhood where you want to live is a huge decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It is exhilarating to be able to choose a new area to live, but it is also a fairly complicated business.
Is it an expensive area? Is it quiet or lively? What are the transport links and shopping facilities like? Really, the best thing you can do is to make up a list of what you need and then spend some time looking around for an area that fits the bill as closely as possible.
Begin to view properties
There will probably never be a perfect time for you to start going out to view properties. This is the step when it will begin to sink in that you really are going to be buying a property. As such, it is a life-changing moment.
There is a lot to consider when looking at properties, so the sooner you get going, the sooner you will begin to feel comfortable. The first home you view might look perfect, but you should carry on looking at others until you feel that you understand the market and are choosing the best option available to you.
Make an offer
Once you know which property is perfect, it’s time to make an offer. Once you do so you will have started the process of buying a property for real. This means that you need to be completely sure of yourself before you make that offer.
Your solicitor will guide you through this process and let you know whenever you need to undertake a next step. This is a time for exercising patience and doing everything in the right order and at the right time.
Complete the paperwork
Again, your solicitor will make sure that the paperwork is all completed correctly. This process could take up to 10 weeks, so you need to be patient with this step as well.
It can be a good idea to arrange one final visit to inspect the house while the papers are being drawn up. Otherwise, it is a time to hang loose and remember that you are nearly home at last.
Sort out the utilities and insurance
You will want to get the utilities set up in your name and the insurance policies finalised as soon as possible. These are easy transactions that you should not put off for too long after buying a property.
Sorting all this out will help you feel completely at home and give you peace of mind at the same time.
This is the day that you probably thought would never arrive. The house is now in your name and you can move all your stuff in whenever you want to.
This can be a stressful experience in its own right, so try and keep calm. You can take as long as you need to move all your possessions over and start to decorate the place as you wish. Having endured the long list of necessary steps up to now, you may rather prefer to chill out for the moment and just enjoy the sensation of being in your very own home.
This story was orginally published in The New Savvy, May 30, 2017.