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I want to buy a house but I’m a first time buyer and have no idea where to start.
What is the first step I should take? pound
We take a look at some of the key questions you should ask yourself when purchasing a property.
MailOnline property expert Myra Butterworth answers: Buying your first home can be a daunting prospect.
There are lots of things to think about, from how much money you will need to where (and what type of property) you want to live in.
If you can make sure you get the first steps right, you’ll be on your way to making a successful purchase.
So before we get started in earnest, we asked some property experts for their opinion on the questions you should ask yourself from the start.
Agent Henry Pryor suggests buyers remember the Boy Scout motto: “Be Prepared.”
Purchasing agent Henry Pryor suggests these three key questions:
How much money do I have?
It sounds obvious, but half of house hunters do it without having the money to threaten a real estate agent.
Get your finances in order and initially organize a mortgage rather than relying on a widget on a website.
What are my ‘anchor points’?
Where are my friends, work, gym or social life? Look for a home that relates to these things rather than just being trendy.
You almost certainly won’t be able to afford the best location, but your life may not demand it.
Working from home can mean you can travel much greater distances because you only do it two days a week.
What could I live with?
What is it that other people don’t like that I could live with? For example, do trains or planes bother you? Many people would pay to live away from them.
Do you need to be close to a station to get around? Homes in these areas are more expensive.
Why pay for things other people want if you don’t need them or they don’t bother you?
And if you don’t have children, do you have to pay to be in a school zone? Why pay for things other people want if you don’t need them or they don’t bother you? Why not go for the houses that people don’t want, but would suit them?
Remember the Boy Scout motto: “be prepared.” Buying a home should be the ultimate retail experience, and it only gets the reputation of being as fun as your grandma’s funeral because people don’t prepare.
Like everything in life, if it hurts you are doing it wrong. Get a lawyer to act for you. Prepare the money. Polish your credit file. Calculate what you really want.
You will find an army of people who will want to do business with you, and because you seem serious, they will treat you seriously.
Do trains or planes bother you? Questions like these are key according to Henry Pryor
North London estate agent Jeremy Leaf made these suggestions:
when to move
It’s not so much about the first step, but rather “steps” in the plural, since there are many things to consider when buying a home.
Timing is one of those things: what is the latest comfortable date to move, as this will determine when and where to start.
Next, you need to consider the accommodation you need and the location – where would your trip fit if you have one, your job and your lifestyle?
If you work from home at least part of the time, you may need a home office. If you work in an office or a different location for at least part of the week, how convenient is it to get there?
Also, what’s going on with your family life? Do you want or need to live close to family and friends?
How long do you plan to live there? Will that accommodation still meet your needs two, three, five or even ten years from now?
How flexible do you need to be to meet your ongoing requirements?
What can you afford?
Then you have to consider cost and affordability, which are clearly just as important as all of the above.
How much can you comfortably pay for your mortgage? Can you get help from your family with a deposit?
What concessions should you make, considering that very few properties meet all the requirements?
What will you be able to comfortably afford, building your own reserves in anticipation that interest rates may rise further and taking into account any criteria imposed by the lender, assuming you need a mortgage?
You may want to speak to a mortgage broker across the market who can give you a broad idea of how much you can borrow and how much it would cost.
When you’ve answered all of those questions, you might want to start looking for locations. What concessions should you make, considering that very few properties meet all the requirements?
When you’ve zeroed in or drilled down into an area you can feel comfortable in, think about the type of property and how much it will cost over the next few years, at least going in with your eyes open in terms of service charges, repairs required, etc.
A survey or condition report will help answer your questions, while there is plenty of information about property use and value available on the Internet without spending any money.