Preparation is key when planning to buy a property

THERE is no doubt about it, buying a house is one of the most exciting things you will do and there’s no better way to plan ahead than being prepared.

Some buyers have gone through the process numerous times, for others it may be their first house purchase.

Using a trusted agent throughout the process is the key to a smooth process from start to finish. They can provide some very useful guidance and help you prepare before and during the house hunt.

It may seem like a lot of effort now, but the work you put in before the search will pay off when you find your perfect home and successfully complete the sale without confusion or delay along the way.

Here are a few top tips to get you started:

DO YOU HAVE A BUDGET? Have a discussion with a mortgage broker about how much you should borrow. Work together to set a realistic budget and ensure you stick to it. You should also consider how much deposit you want to pay. Remember that you may need budget to furnish the property too.

GET YOURSELF AN INDEPENDENT MORTGAGE ADVISOR: They will research the best mortgage deals for you. Generally the better the loan-to-value ratio the more favourable the rates will be. It’s also important to factor in the fees involved, although these can usually be added to the mortgage value. Once you’re happy with the mortgage deal, ask for a mortgage in principle. This will give you the reassurance that once you’ve found the perfect home you will have no trouble in securing a mortgage. This will also be seen favourably by agents who will see you as a serious buyer.

DECIDE WHAT KIND OF PROPERTY YOU WANT: Write down what you want from the property. If it’s a large garden, there’s no point in looking at flats. You’ll save a lot of time by having a clear idea of what kind of property you want before you start searching for it. Keep in mind that you may not find your dream home as a first time buyer with limited funds, so it is advisable to be open to compromise.

DO YOU KNOW COSTS? There are a number of costs involved when purchasing a home. You’ll need to think about surveyor fees, stamp duty, mortgage fees, moving costs, home insurance, solicitor’s fees and more. Going over budget by not factoring in the stamp duty is an easy mistake to make. You can find the latest stamp duty rates at

RESEARCH THE AREA: If you want to move to an area with which you are unfamiliar, make sure you do your research. Housing markets trends vary from region to region and are often different from the national trends reported in the papers. Take a look at the local area during different times of the day and at weekends. Look for anything that may annoy you like noise pollution – from busy roads to trains. You should always do a search for any planned developments in the area. If there are planned construction projects, they may cause disruptions for
extended periods of time and affect the value of your home.

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