With all the talk I seem to be engaged in at the moment about travel, I thought it would be a welcome change to discuss all things home. Maybe I am feeling a little homesick now that I’m back settled in the UK, but either way, I think the advice I am going to share with you is very useful if you are buying your first property. The entire process can be quite daunting, and there are a lot of things to consider, both before before buying and after moving in. Here are the 4 things I wish I’d known before buying my first house.
You need to find out how much you can afford and what you’re going to need
It’s quick and easy to find out roughly how much you can afford. Always be completely honest when answering questions. I won’t say more, but take it from me that honesty is an absolute no-brainer when it comes to getting a mortgage as 1 wrong answer could waste a lot of time.
Once you know the budget you are working towards, you can start assessing what you can afford. If you have a pre-approval mortgage offer, estate agents will take you more seriously and offer you more attention. This might even mean that they show you properties before they go on the market, too.
Whatever you do, always factor in the cost of decorating and making sure you have all the essentials you need. Otherwise, like me, you’ll find yourself having to sleep on a mattress on the floor for months because you didn’t properly budget for what you needed after you’d moved in.
Always reserve some cash for fees
When buying a house, people just think about saving for a deposit. Of course, this is going to be the largest amount you’ll need to save and I wish I’d known how much it was going to be compared with a rental deposit. But there are other costs you need to consider, too. From account mortgage fees to legal fees – there are so many costs that quickly add up, as I quickly discovered when buying my first house!
Work out exactly how much the move is going to cost you and make sure you have a bit extra. I learned this lesson the hard way!
Use an online comparison site to get an idea of account fees and a removal quote, especially if you’re going to be bringing a lot of stuff from your rental home with you. You might also want to put a bit more aside for home improvements and furniture when you first move into your property.
Factor in unexpected costs
For some very naïve reason, I thought that my moving in budget would only be required for decorative purposes and a few bedroom and kitchen items. And them 3 months after moving in, the bathroom boiler packs in. Cue panic!
Hot water and central heating is, of course, an absolute must in any property and oil boilers are just about the best in the business. But I wish I’d have realised how easy it was to pick up the phone to my landlord when I was renting and something broke. He’d just punch something like Boiler Repair Leeds into Google and send someone over to take a look within a few hours.
Look beyond the decor
When you’re looking for at properties, try and look past the shabby paint and old furniture. Seeing past this is incredibly important and may completely change your perception of a property. When you move in, you won’t be keeping their furniture. You’ll most likely be giving the property a lick of paint, regardless.
It can be hard to see the potential in a property. But keep an open mind. You might find it easier to look at the ceiling of the property when looking at a cluttered property. This will help to appreciate the size of a room and what you’re working with. Buying a property that needs a bit of work is also a good way to make a bit of money, so don’t be quick to judge!
What do you wish you’d known before buying your first home?