First-time property buying can be an exciting prospect, but do not discount the fact that it can be confusing and frightening, too. If quite unfamiliar, you may be overwhelmed not just by how much it costs but with the number of tasks you should do and things to avoid, just to make sure that the process is completed seamlessly and with the least amount of stress possible.
If you’re looking at buying your first home, do not forget that without careful planning, you run the risk of being broke. Hence, there are special programmes in place to ensure you’re able to afford the venture and experts to assist you from the first step to the last.
To help you even further, here are some golden rules to tell you what to do and what not to do as a first-time home buyer.
Create a list.
It’s always important to write things down and not be complacent in storing them in your head. It is most especially helpful if you list the things you need in the property and the things you think would be nice to have. When making a list though, always prioritise the things you need over what you want.
Search for a conveyancer to instruct ahead of time.
Avoid the rush of having to instruct a solicitor only when the occasion calls for it. You need to be able to at least choose from a few recommendations from friends and online search, so that when you need to go through the process, you’re sure you’ve hired a diligent one. And don’t forget, your conveyancer should not just be cheap. Find someone who can give you the best value for your money, and accredited by the Law Society to carry out the process according to certain standards of compliance and quality.
Look for an appropriate insurance to cover you in case your purchase falls out.
Yes, transactions don’t always have a happy ending, and sometimes, when the seller decides they don’t want to sell the house to you, you end up having spent money that you can’t get back anymore. So, taking out a Residential Abortive Transaction insurance may come in very handy, particularly with the legal fees you may have already paid.
Never look for a house or try to make an offer without getting your mortgage sorted.
Talk to your potential lenders or seek advice from financial advisers or mortgage brokers to get your best option on home loans; and make sure you have at least an agreement in principle before searching for a house to buy. Most sellers are more keen in dealing with someone they reckon is serious with a mortgage ready, than having to wait for someone who has yet to arrange the loan with a bank.
Don’t finalise the offer without a survey.
Your mortgage lender may have properly advised you of the property’s value and you’re ready to make an offer, but always make it subject to survey so that you can renegotiate if there are issues within and around the property that could affect your living condition. Hire a professional surveyor to check the structure and decide whether you would want proceed, renegotiate your offer, or find something else in the market.
Do not buy the house you first laid eyes on right away.
Options are always important and be on the lookout for a better or cheaper one that suits your needs. Do not forgo checking out the location as you will have to be out and about the whole time when you move in. Try and look for at least a couple more properties in the area or somewhere else before you make a decision.
Do not buy just as a buyer.
Have the mindset of a future property seller, too. Think of how much you can sell the property for, given its location and condition, in the future (when you need to). You may be okay with minor issues on the house when buying, but think of how much it could affect your asking price if you decide to sell.