A Guide For Buying Your First Ever Home

Nov 17 2021
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Most of you guys probably don’t know that Grandma’s house was not technically my first home. Its complicated but my first home purchase was actually a fixer upper when I was 19. I was young and stupid lol and made the purchase with someone who turned out to not be all that honest or reliable. I got through it though (or ‘out of it’ might be a better way of putting it) before he completely destroyed my credit. It was a hard but good lesson for me and would be my absolute number one tip for first time home buyers. If you’re doing this with some one else… be absolutely sure of them. I would say never do it if their credit isn’t at least as good as yours etc.

2019 spring photo gallery, garden, beats, lilacs, apple trees and blooms of dandelions on an old farm with a broken barn and old horses grazing(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

Making major plan changes and deciding to purchase your first ever home is an incredibly exciting time in your life. Nonetheless, you need to curb the excitement from time to time so that you can focus and make the right decisions for your future. Besides, buying your first home is a big financial commitment, so you want to make the right choices. 

If you are in the market for buying your first ever home, use this guide to help you understand what’s involved and everything that you need to know.

Use help with property searching

Searching for your first home can be quite overwhelming, especially if you have never looked before. Some people like to look at the lead-up to moving out. Yet, if you haven’t looked for then the choices might overwhelm you. 

To narrow your search and find the best places, it is useful to use an online property searcher like Compass. There, you can search using a ZIP code or a location, and the best homes within your area will come up. You can cut the need for a physical estate agent and look for yourself online. 

Therefore, you can continue your search as and when you wish without having to wait for an appointment.

Have a budget in mind

Every buyer will need a budget. It will indicate how much you can afford and therefore, what properties you should be looking at. Although it’s fun to look at super expensive and lavish houses, it is really wasting your time. 

Therefore, with a budget in mind you can narrow down your search and ensure that you are using your time wisely. 

Your budget will represent how much you can afford to spend on monthly mortgage payments, as well as your deposit. You should also counter in your other outgoings such as utility bills and personal payments. 

Check your credit score

You will require a decent credit score to be eligible for certain properties. Not every owner will require a check but some might and you don’t want to be cut short. 

Therefore, make sure to check your credit score before you think about looking for a house. If its fine, then continue with your search. If you discover that you have a poor credit score, then ensure you do something about it. Simply paying your bills on time and paying off your debt can boost your credit score and make you eligible for your desired mortgage.

Find a suitable location

As much as the interior is important, the location is key too. A good location is one that fulfils your needs. Some people like to live in peace and quiet and don’t mind driving 20 minutes to pick up groceries. Whereas others prefer to live close to shops and a school so that they can live an easy life with their children. 

Therefore, make sure to choose a specific location that satisfies your lifestyle. This will be useful to narrow down your search too. 

Create a list of must-haves

Speaking of fulfilling your needs, it is also useful to have a list of must-haves for your new home. Some new buyers might not know exactly what they want, having not experienced living alone before. However, you will have an idea of how many bedrooms you require and whether a large kitchen or a large living room is your preference. 

Taking a list of as many must-haves as possible to the viewing (as well as the initial search) will help you narrow down properties and find homes that suit your needs. 

Don’t forget to use independent lawyers

When you choose a property, you will want to get it assessed before deciding on signing the contract and handing over your money. There might be underlying issues that you hadn’t noticed, which is common for first-time buyers. You won’t want to be misled or taken advantage of. Therefore, make sure to use your own independent lawyer to survey the property and check for any issues. 

Using the vendor’s recommendation for a lawyer can be a rooky mistake as some will cover the vendor’s back just so that they can make the sale. 

A list of questions for the owner/estate agent

Taking a list of questions with you to ask the owner of the estate agent is a great idea, especially as a first-time buyer. It will show that you have some idea of what you are talking about and will avoid you buying sold a lie. 

The list of questions could include:

  • Who are the previous owners?
  • What are the neighbors like?
  • What is included in the price?
  • What is the council tax band?
  • Have there been any major works done on the property?

Take these questions along to the viewing with you and don’t forget to ask, otherwise you might not know as much about the property as you should before signing the contract. 

Look at your preferred choices more than once

Looking at your preferred choice(s) more than once is an important step when buying your first house. You might get overly excited on your first viewing if you really like the place, its price, and the location. You might get so excited that you look past its cons. 

Therefore, going back for a few more visits will ensure that you get to know the property better and ensure that you are making the right choice. However, don’t take too long in between viewings as someone else might put an offer down before you.

How to negotiate 

If you are pretty certain that you want to buy the property, then don’t be afraid to negotiate the price. Most homes and owners are up for negotiation, especially if they have had little interest. 

Even if the home is well within your budget, you might be able to save yourself some money by negotiating and knocking a fraction off of the asking price.

Making an offer

When you have negotiated and settled on a price, it will be time to make an offer. This can be quite exciting yet daunting, so make sure to know what to do.

When you are prepared to make an offer, ensure that you know as much about the property as you would like to. Asking last-minute questions will verify whether or not the property is a good choice. 

Furthermore, before making the offer ensure that your finances are in order so that the contract and deposit can go as smoothly as possible.

When you are ready, call the owners or estate agent and let them know that you are happy to buy the home for the agreed price. And that is all you will pretty much need to do. The next steps will be legal, financial, and personal checks. As well as signing contracts and picking up the keys. 

Some tips for the move include:

  • Set a move-in date. You will want a guaranteed move-in date so you know when to set up bills, organize the delivery of your items, and have a date to move out of where you currently live. 
  • Set up utilities. You will want to consider setting up utilities with providers before you move in. This is just so that you can get going as soon as you move in and have water, gas, and more to get you started.
  • Take your time. Rushing a move can make you forget to do certain things, like set up wifi or organize for someone to help move your belongings. Therefore, be patient and everything will go as smoothly as possible. 

Most of you guys probably don't know that Grandma's house was not technically my first home. Its complicated but my first home purchase
(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

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