Buying a home isn’t something to be taken lightly. There’s a huge list of considerations to keep in mind before you buy a home, and you need to have a rough idea of what you expect from your home as well. With that said, you can actually make the entire process a lot easier if you know where to start. So in this post, we’re going to take a look at the top 20 things you should consider when buying your first home. These are in no particular order of importance, so you should consider all of them something to keep in mind. Think of it as a checklist when buying a property.
- Buying a house can take a long time
On average, it can take around half a year to actually go from searching for a home to actually living in a new home. Searching for the right property can take anywhere from one week to 12 depending on how strict your search is. Getting a mortgage offer can take another few weeks and then the conveyancing process can take around three to four months. The sale can then take another two weeks or more depending on how fast the agent is. In short, don’t consider buying your first home to be a fast process.
- Use a mortgage tool to figure out how much you can expect to pay
Almost every property website will list an expected property price and give you a rough breakdown of how much you can expect to pay each month for a mortgage. You can tweak these values and change things like the interest rate and repayment term. This should give you a rough idea of how much you can expect to pay under perfect circumstances. In reality, there are lots of other costs to keep in consideration, so only use this as a rough guideline.
- Knowing how much you can borrow
Speak to lenders to figure out how high your budget is before you decide to look for a home. It can be disappointing to find the perfect home, only to then be told that you can’t borrow that much money despite your good financial history.
- If you can’t borrow as much, consider boosting your credit score
Check your credit score before you decide to apply for a mortgage. This could improve the amount of credit you can borrow and allows you to fix certain issues with your financial history before you apply for a loan.
- Examine local neighbourhoods first
Don’t hesitate to do a bit of first-hand research on each neighbourhood to find out what it’s like. Are the locals friendly? Do you have plenty of shops and restaurants nearby? Are local schools reputable? These are the types of general considerations you can keep in mind. However, you can also get a feel for what the locals are like by looking at the state of the neighbourhood too.
- How many bedrooms do you really need?
A question on many people’s minds is how many bedrooms they’ll need. This will greatly depend on your circumstances. For example, if you plan to have an extra child or two in the future, having an extra bedroom is never a bad idea. If you plan to have lots of guests around, then you could always have a guest bedroom too. This is something that will depend on your personal circumstances and is important to keep in mind.
- Don’t hesitate to get more information out of a property seller
While it can seem annoying to the seller, don’t hesitate to get more information out of them to get a better picture of the property. For example, you could ask about the utilities such as when the boiler was last replaced. You could also inquire about the roof and its condition, and also how many people have previously lived in the property. If something seems too good to be true, it’s best to ask questions to see if you can find any flaws.
- Understand what your deal-breakers are
Everyone has deal-breakers that they can’t overlook. For example, some people might consider mould and damp spots to be a red flag. Others might consider a small garden to be a deal-breaker, and others will look at the overall condition of the building to see if it’s worth investment. Identify what you consider to be a deal breaker when buying a home to help filter out properties.
- Have a vision for the property
You likely won’t find a perfect property that ticks all the right boxes. However, what you might find is a property that is extremely close to what you need and, with a renovation or two, could meet your needs exactly. Have a vision when it comes to properties. Look at what the property could become in the future if you put a bit of extra work and investment into it.
- Is there a good school in the area for your children?
If you have kids with you then it’s important to check out the local schools to see if they’re close enough and if they have a good reputation. Schools are a huge consideration when it comes to buying your first home, so make sure you don’t neglect this point.
- Look at local transport options
If travel is important for you then you’ll want to look at local transport options before you decide on a property. Keep in mind local train lines and also developments for new stations to help you get around town or even visit other cities.
- Do you care about resale value?
If you don’t plan to live in the property forever then consider how easy it would be to resell the home. This can include factors such as the age of the home, how much work it would take to renovate certain areas such as the roof, and if the utilities are in good condition.
Good luck with your house hunting – I hope these things to consider when buying your first home will help!