Ask the Property Expert Article
By Alison Palmer of Hennings Moir, a Property Sharing agent in Saltash 01752 850440
Five common mistakes first time buyers should try to avoid
Buying a home is one of the most exciting life experiences but because of this, it can also be one of the most stressful. We have put together some of the most frequent mistakes that first time buyers continue to make to help you avoid them and stay one step ahead.
- Becoming financially stretched before you even begin
Familiarise yourself with all the costs and factor them into your budget. Your deposit is just the start, think about mortgage arrangement and valuation fees, removal and storage costs, legal fees, Stamp Duty, home insurance and surveyor fees. Always have a contingency fund. Planning ahead eliminates nasty surprises. Also, be careful not to borrow too much by chasing your dream home. Committing to just an additional £150 a month is a long-term decision that will affect your lifestyle. Don’t run before you can walk and only borrow what you can truly afford. Most good estate agents and financial advisors can help you with your planning
- Being too ‘green’ and not doing your research
Arm yourself with facts. This will make the process easier, especially when it comes to negotiation, which you should not be afraid of.
Unrealistic expectations are frequently dangerous to first time buyers: there’s always flexibility but don’t expect a mansion on a small budget… and if you find one, be very dubious!
Research your preferred area for price trends and its ambience at different times of the day. The quiet, leafy side-street could also be the bustling main walkway to the nearby football stadium on a weekend. You can research what other local properties have been sold for by going to www.onthemarket.com .
- Failing to have a survey
The period features you so dearly love come with age, which means that the house around it will have aged too. Period properties require specific – and often constant – maintenance to remain beautiful and safe. Know exactly what you’re getting yourself into and get a survey you can afford. In the long run, it is so often a false economy to skip a survey and your solicitor will advise you have one.
- Letting your heart rule your head
It will be your home for a long time but it will be an investment for longer. We don’t know what the future holds but we do know things change. Don’t let your emotions take over when buying a home and don’t pay over the odds for your dream home, it could be dead money.
An expanding family or relocation could mean you need to sell up in years to come. And if you do, you want to be confident in your initial decision. Know your potential resale value – check with your local council for planned transformation schemes that could add value to the area or indeed risk reducing the value.
- Relying too heavily on the internet
Never underestimate the power of face-to-face interaction. Most agents inform buyers registered with them before putting property onto the internet. Pop into your local estate agents’ offices to register and for advice on valuations. Also, visit your bank or a mortgage adviser to see which deals you’re eligible for when buying a home. Their knowledge is invaluable to first time buyers.
That said, the internet can be an invaluable search tool. Most websites and property portals such as OnTheMarket.com allow you to register for property updates. This is vital in keeping you up-to-date with the latest properties that match your search criteria. Its worth signing-up for an instant property alert at OnTheMarket.com,
Hennings Moir are the Most experienced Estate Agents in Saltash & South east Cornwall and have been Putting People into Property fro over 30 years. More information here www.henningsmoir.com 01752 850440