So, you’re ready to buy your first home, that’s fantastic! But how prepared are you for the home buying process? Advice for first time home buyers can be extremely valuable as most of us can admit that we don’t really know what we’re doing.
While buying your first home is an exciting time, it can also be stressful and confusing (trust us, we’ve been there). With that in mind, the advice for first time home buyers below should help you to feel more prepared and knowledgeable.
1. You need to save more than your deposit
Saving enough for a housing deposit (usually around 10%) can be a slog, but you’re going to need more than that. There are a lot of additional costs involved in buying a home including:
- Solicitor’s fees
- Survey costs
- Transfer fees
- Valuation fees
- Mortgage arrangement fees
- Building/decorating costs
- Moving costs
As a first-time buyer, you’re also likely to need some extra cash for furnishing your new home. Shopping at affordable homeware brands should help you to better stick to your budget.
The costs involved in buying a home can feel daunting, but if you have managed your finances well enough to save for a deposit, you’re on the right track to being able to afford the rest.
2. Do some credit spring cleaning
When applying for a mortgage, you’ll want to make yourself an attractive applicant for banks. This means having a great credit rating! A couple of easy ways to boost your credit rating are ensuring you’re on the electoral register and having a landline (random, we know!)
You should definitely have a credit spring clean before starting with your home buying process. This involves:
- Closing dormant bank accounts
- Ensuring you don’t have shared financial products with anyone who may have a bad credit rating
- Setting up direct debits to avoid late payments
- Avoiding credit applications shortly before mortgage applications
3. Get a financial advisor
Financial advisors are not just for the rich and many will do the work for free as they get a commission from lenders and insurers. A financial advisor can help you get a great deal on your mortgage and if you want help with home insurance too, they can help you out. This certainly saves you a lot of time and stress.
4. Don’t settle for the first mortgage offer
It feels good to get a mortgage offer but the first offer may not be the best. Resist the temptation to dive straight in with option one and make sure you shop around to get the best deal.
5. Temporarily opt for paper billing
This is not very eco-friendly (sorry planet) but it’s worth doing for a few months. Solicitors, lenders, estate agents and insurers seem to want everything on paper when it comes to buying a home. It’s annoying but a printed online statement isn’t always accepted.
6. Don’t worry about student debts
Is your student debt sitting over your head like a black cloud? Are you worried you won’t be able to get a mortgage because you don’t earn enough to be paying your student debt back? Actually, this isn’t such a bad thing as it means one less outgoing that needs to be taken into account.
When considering your mortgage application, banks want to see that you can afford the repayments. Paying off your student loan won’t be eating enough into your income to negatively impact this.
7. Prepare to get fed up with house viewings
Everything feels very exciting when you first start viewing houses, but the novelty does wear off by the time you get to around the fourth house. There’s a lot of nodding and politely pretending that you don’t want to rip the current bathrooms out. However, it’s worth clinging on to the knowledge that when you find “the one” the excitement will come rushing back and all the searching will be worth it!
8. Be prepared if you’re a freelancer
We’re sorry to say that there are a few more hurdles in place for freelance workers when it comes to buying your first home. While the employed can provide a few payslips, you may feel like you have to provide a lot of evidence to support and demonstrate your income. To make life easier, make sure that you are on top of your accounts.
Do you have additional advice for first time home buyers?
Leave us a comment below sharing your experiences and advice for first time home buyers. It’s a challenging time, but also an exciting one and when you’re all moved into your first home you will feel great.