Buying a home represents one of the biggest (if not the biggest) single purchases that any person will expect to make in their lifetime. As of September 2022, the average price for a home in the UK was almost £300,000, which represents an extremely large investment for anyone. House prices have risen over the last decade, and whilst there will be natural fluctuations in the market, a home is often considered to be both a necessity and a long-term investment. First-time buyers often enter the housing market unaware of the range of processes that need to be completed before a sale is closed on a property, and at times, the experience can be a little daunting. For older people, their next home may be something that approaches their ideal home and may be on a larger budget than that of a first-time buyer. Whether you are buying your first home or looking to move up the property ladder, this article will be of interest and benefit. In it, four distinct steps to consider when buying your next home will be discussed in detail.
There is little point in looking at exceptionally expensive homes if you are not able to afford the monthly mortgage, council taxes, and energy bills that home ownership typically entails. As a rule, the homes you look at should be properties that you can comfortably afford to live in without causing financial hardship. To work out how much you can afford to spend on a home, you must consider your annual income (or your shared annual income if you live with a partner), your monthly debts, and the amount of money you will put down as a deposit on the home. The greater amount you can put down as a deposit, the lower your monthly mortgage payments will be. It is wise, therefore, to build savings if you are a first-time buyer, so that you can afford to put down a considerable deposit. Thankfully, there is a range of property calculation tools available freely on the internet that can help give a clear estimate of your budget. See here for one such property calculator.
Consider the Location
It is extremely important to consider the location of the properties in which you are interested. An ideal location will vary from person to person based on their unique needs. For example, a person who is looking for a home that allows a short travel time to work will prioritise road links and public transport services. Conversely, an older individual or couple may value having shops and local amenities within walking distance. When viewing a house, take the time to research the local areas. Are there suitable amenities nearby, such as local parks for families or to take a walk in? Are shops and supermarkets within a suitable travel distance? In short, the location of a property is one of the most important factors to consider in any property purchase.
Speak to Property Experts
Regardless of whether you are a first-time buyer or someone who has experience in buying and selling homes, speaking to property experts should be considered a vitally important activity. Property experts, such as Respect Mortgages, will have a wealth of experience and expertise in the housing market. By speaking to property experts, you will find that they have experience in answering the common questions that house buyers have and may be able to offer advice on various parts of property ownership, such as choosing a mortgage, looking for bridging loans, or advice if you are looking to purchase a property to gain a rental income from it (buy to let). Having access to the specialist knowledge of experts in the field of property will allow you to make informed decisions on your next purchase and you will be able to buy with confidence.
Research the Market
Before making an offer on any home, it is vitally important to thoroughly research the property market. As with any market, there will be highs and lows in demand for property and this will directly affect the average house price. When you have made a short list of properties that you are interested in, it can be beneficial to look for similar-sized properties in the same general area. This should provide you with a good first impression of the relative values of properties in the area and if the home you are looking at is suitably priced. Knowing the property market can often allow a prospective buyer to make an offer that is competitive and below the asking price. Being able to justify your offer based on similar properties in the area can result in saving significant sums of money.