Could this be the answer to buying a house without the usual first-time buyer challenges?
If you are thinking of buying your first house in the UK you are probably aware that it can be tough as a first-time buyer.
Many people say it’s one of the most stressful experiences of their life. It can be hard to know what you should do or who can help.
That’s why we’ve partnered with a new type of mortgage adviser, so that it can be easier and much less stressful for you.
If you are about to start viewing properties and are not ready to find support yet, these 6 steps could be the difference between a difficult experience and success.
Also, don’t forget to check out our viewing checklist for a more detailed look at what to look our for when you start viewing properties.
Before you start thinking about going on your viewings, there are 6 things we think you need to know, if you want to avoid pain later on in the process.
It all starts with you:
1. Figuring out if it is possible to buy
The first step is to know what is possible. There are many ways to help first-time buyers today.
Whether it be saving a deposit, getting help from your relatives, government schemes like Help To Buy or Shared Ownership or finding a new more affordable location to buy your first home.
It can be easy to get stuck carrying out lots of confusing research online for hours and even months at a time.
Don’t give up
What’s most important to is to not give up. If you are struggling, speak to someone who can help you figure it all out.
Once you know about what’s possible it time to move on to working out which option is right for you.
Both to meet what you need today and into the future.
2. How to make sure your finances are ready
Your number one priority should first be making sure you know your budget.
Nobody wants to have their home repossessed and lose their hard earned savings in the process.
It’s about establishing how much can you afford and what lenders will lend you, assuming you will need a mortgage of course.
There are many options out there, from speaking with your bank, searching online or getting help and advice from a mortgage adviser.
Speaking to an adviser
Luckily many mortgage advisers will provide a free initial call to establish where you stand.
Remember, not all banks and lenders work the same or offer the same deals.
Depending on your employment type, current financial commitments and credit history some lenders will be more suited to you than others.
So, shopping around is key to getting the right deal for you.
After you are happy the mortgage won’t be an issue it’s time to start viewing properties you like.
3. What to look for when viewing your first properties
For many, this is the most exciting part of buying a house. From checking in on your favourite property websites to actually going to see properties.
Depending on where you live it can be hard to find the right property to suit your budget and requirements.
Again, try to find someone experienced in the local area who can help you narrow down your search, such as an estate agent or mortgage adviser.
Proving you are ready to buy
Also, some people may find estate agents and developers tactics intimidating.
Often they will want to establish how serious you are before letting you view properties.
Having a mortgage agreement in principle can help you demonstrate you have looked into your ability to get a mortgage and are serious about buying.
Getting viewings right
The viewing is your opportunity to make sure this property really fits your needs.
This is going to be your home for the next few years, you want to be sure the area is right and you feel safe by doing your research.
You also want to make sure you identify all the things with the house that could go wrong in the future.
Try and gather key information to help you negotiate and understand the sellers situation by asking lots of questions. (More on that later).
Often visiting a property for a second viewing or taking a more experienced friend or family member can help you play the role of detective making sure you know as much as you can to help make your decision.
Happy you’ve found the one? It’s time to move onto the offer stage.
4. Mastering the art of negotiating
So you’ve been searching for a while and have fallen in love with the property, now you have to secure it by making an offer.
Not negotiating a price you are happy with is one of the top regrets first-time buyers have.
One of the challenges is that the seller has a professional on their side to negotiate, whereas in many cases you will need to do this yourself.
If you can, doing research on local house prices and making sure you know your ceiling before you start negotiating can help.
It’s not always about getting a deal
Yes, it’s not always about getting a deal, especially if there is competition.
In some cases you also want to secure the property and get through to calling it home.
So presenting your offer to make sure it is accepted and explaining why you are the right buyer can be just as important.
Don’t forget this is why collecting lots of information at the viewing stage is important, so you know how best to play it.
Now your offer has been accepted the real work begins.
5. Tips if you are thinking of buying a new build property
If you are buying a new build then you get a nice new home to enjoy.
Some things it is important to know. You will likely be asked to speak with the developers’ financial adviser.
Remember you have the choice to choose which adviser you use and shouldn’t feel pressured into using an adviser you don’t have a good relationship with.
One of the reasons they ask about your finances is timings.
We have had many conversations with first-time buyers who were just speculatively checking out a new build, and when they were interested were surprised just how quickly they were requested to make a decision.
Some new builds are in high demand so you may feel pressure to move quicker than you expected.
Expect things to move fast (To exchange…)
The sale can also be much quicker with a new build property, often with just 28 days to exchange contracts. This is the date all the paper work is completed and is not the time you will get the keys which will depend on when building is completed.
One of the top mistakes we see is using the developers’ solicitor because of all the incentives they use to get you to buy.
Do your own research in advance if you can
Always get at least one other conveyancing quote to check they are not inflating the price. Also, check the reviews of their recommendation to make sure they will actually provide you with the level of service you expect.
6. Don't underestimate the sales process
After your offer has been accepted, it is now time to start the sale.
It’s a busy time which includes
- Finding a conveyancer/solicitor to carry out the legal work
- Getting your mortgage application submitted and approved
- Arranging a survey
These are just some of the many things that need completing.
Yes, we implied it in the new build section but it is worth re-iterating here.
Choosing a poor conveyancer/solicitor is one of the top reasons for stress anxiety and pain when buying your first home.
It is natural to put off getting a conveyancer until you need them.
The trouble is when you need one, it is the busiest time of the sale and you are likely to just go with the estate agent recommendation or a quick search.
Good conveyancing companies will be there to answer the phone and deal with your questions quickly and professionally.
Why is that important?
Well, stats show over a third of sales in the England and Wales fall through.
Often delays at this stage and a lack of communication can increase the chances of this happening. Not to mention the added stress and worry for you.
You want to be looking forward to and planning to move into your new home, not spending time chasing estate agents and requesting updates.
How can Move Engine help you?
We are partnering with a new type of mortgage adviser that is emerging in the UK.
One that is dedicated to help you through the house buying process together.
They want to help you avoid the many challenges you are likely to face, and if they can’t be avoided, help you deal with them as they happen.
A simple chat to get you on the right path to success
Our advisers provide a flexible service which you can tailor to your needs, including:
- Help figuring out which schemes are right for you and how to access them
- A really clear understanding of your finances so you can afford your new home
- A large range of mortgage lenders to choose from based on your needs to ensure you get a good deal
- Offer and negotiation support to secure the property and save you money
- Recommended conveyancing solicitors and quotes to save you time
- Help with sale delays, survey issues and chasing of estate agents and conveyancers to keep your sale moving
- A dedicated person explaining the process at each step and answering your questions along the way
Read our reviews from some of the people we've helped recently
YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE