Buying Your First Home

You’ve decided to take the plunge, get your first foot planted on the property ladder or have been told that at 42, you finally need to move out of the family home.Its a magical moment when you finally move in, throw your clothes over the floor, leave the dirty dishes in the sink and standing there with your hands on your hips you survey your domain – a domain where no one can tell you to clean up!

The elation of collecting the key for your first home has the wondrous effect of “Mind Wiping” all the garbage you went through trying to buy it and puts a smile on your face that stretches from ear to ear.

Having dealt with many First Time Buyers (FTB), their expectations are governed by parents, peers and colleagues who have gone through the process previously, watching property expert programs, but most are unaware of the effort they will have to put in or the ideal method to follow.

Where To Start

1. Finance: Speak to an Independent Financial Advisor (They can search any and all mortgages available) and get an agreement in principal from a mortgage lender. After all its hard to go shopping with no money in your pocket. A fee is generally payable for this service.

2. Solicitors: All though not vital at this stage, everyone you know who has moved house will have a recommendation, and as you will need one it is wise to put out the feelers, finding out fees and just as important, how you felt dealing with them.

3. Property Search: Once you have decided on your preferred location call every Estate Agent, they will ask you question after question in an attempt to hone in on the right property for you – let them know you have your finance agreed in principal and also if you have a solicitor ready and waiting.

If you want to be the first person an Estate Agent calls regarding a property, then I suggest having a quick read HERE.

What Next?

1. Viewings: When arranging viewings allow for around 20 minutes per home and if you are arranging multiple viewings don’t forget to factor in your travel time also. Both vendors and Estate Agents hate tardiness (even though they’ll do it to you), so if you are going to be delayed, let the Agent know.

2. Questions: Don’t be afraid to ask relevant questions, if you like the property be brave and be bold, ask away.

3. Feedback: Every Agent will ring you to gather your thoughts on the property you have viewed through them, its all part of the communication process as they will let their vendor know and will also assist the Agent in further narrowing down a search for your new home.

4. Offer: Great, you’ve found a property that you want and its time to take a leap into the unknown – I can’t tell you what to offer (all though I am sure others will). If the communication line between vendor and Agent and yourself and the Agent are open, then fairly swiftly you will have either a yes, a no or thinking about it.

After a little negotiation you may find yourself in the exciting position of buying a home!

Time For The Hard Work To Begin.

1. Arrange Your Mortgage: Although you have an agreement  in principal with a mortgage company its now time to fill in all the forms with the address of the property you are buying – followed by countless hours of routing around for all the paperwork they require – followed by additional paperwork. Keep in touch with your financial advisor and immediately deal with anything requested. You will have to pay a survey fee so the property can be valued by the mortgage company.

2. Instruct A Solicitor: Again, you may have spoken to a solicitor but they will need your written consent (they will send you an instruction form to fill in) and monies on account. At this point they will generally send you a guide on what to expect through their process – take the time to read it (its not all gobbledygook).

3. Survey Results: Having spent your time reading the property particulars about how lovely your home to be is, the mortgage companies surveyor will send you a survey report. The first thing to note is if their valuation of the property is the same as the price you are paying and secondly look through the notes that are written – remember the surveyor is not there to tell you how nice it is, they are looking for faults – if anything alarming crops up then contact the Agent immediately and open discussion between them and the vendor.

4. Time Scale: An average time would be 12 weeks until you exchange contracts (this is the point no one can withdraw from the transaction, without penalty) and a further one to two weeks until completion (the day you collect your keys) – Frustrating I know, but deciding factors can be how many people are in the chain above you, the response of and to solicitors (they have to deal with local authorities, amenities for other searches, mortgage companies and clients who are slow to respond), delays with the mortgage companies and any personal factors that might come into play too.

Buying a home can be exhausting, throw in your working life and its exhausting with a cherry on top! It can be stressful, but if everyone is communicating as they should and requests are acted on promptly then a large portion of the stress can be removed.


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Selling property for over 25 years, helping vendors achieve higher values, purchasers to get the home they want and helping Estate Agents achieve their goals.

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