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Six helpful things you wish you’d known when buying your first home

When it comes to the house-buying process, we think every first-time buyer would agree that it’s one big learning curve, from beginning to end.

Rachel Zschieschang. Picture: Keith Heppell (43622637)
Rachel Zschieschang. Picture: Keith Heppell (43622637)

Don’t always listen to the headlines

If you listen to the media headlines, you’ll soon come to think that getting your foot on the property ladder is virtually impossible for young people now. However, this simply isn’t the case. Perhaps if you’re trying to buy a house in an expensive part of the UK - such as London or Brighton - you might struggle to get together enough money for the deposit. However, this isn’t true for the rest of the UK.

We asked recent first time buyer Anna what she wishes she’d have known when buying her first house. “I wish I'd have known that the deposit didn't have to be thousands and thousands, as this was something that had always made me panic and probably put me off looking into buying sooner.”

Lots of first-time buyers believe that buying a first home means needing a big deposit - but this is a bit of a myth. So it’s always worth looking into things for yourself, rather than listening to the media headlines.

Do your own research

We spoke to Amanda who bought her first house in 1993 and asked her if she could go back in time, what would she tell herself?

“I wish I'd have known about the importance of having a deposit rather than taking the 100% option. When we came to sell, we were in negative equity and this may have helped out with this.”

This is why it’s important to take your time to do your own research, as well as listening to advice from friends, family, and people who have bought in the past like Amanda. To start with, take a look at how much money you could potentially borrow. If properties in your chosen area are over your budget, is there anything you can buy in surrounding areas that’s a bit cheaper? Remember, chances are this probably isn’t going to be your forever home. Also, consider your deposit and how much you would like to put down, without leaving yourself short to decorate and furnish the house.

Speak to a mortgage broker

There’s no denying it: finding the right mortgage deal for you can feel a bit like searching for a needle in a haystack. With a mortgage broker, they can guide you through the whole mortgage process. It makes finding the right mortgage deal for your needs easier, and far less stressful.

A mortgage broker should have access to various different mortgage lenders and can often offer exclusive deals you can’t find on the high street.

Amanda got her mortgage through the bank she was working for at the time. However, if she could go back in time and give advice to her younger self, she’d say…

“Go and seek advice from other people too who might be able to find you a better deal, rather than being tied to the limited offerings of one bank.”

Be patient

There’s no denying that the house-buying process isn’t a quick one. Even if everything goes smoothly, it can still take roughly three months to complete. Certain things can hold this process up that are out of your control, so it’s important to focus on what you can control, such as making sure you’ve filled out all your paperwork. However, sometimes you just have to wait and be patient - as frustrating as it is!

Don’t tell the world straight away

No doubt when you have an offer accepted, you’ll want to shout it from the rooftops, but try to refrain from doing this as the more people you tell, the more people will ask you, ‘have you got the keys yet?’. Although having an offer accepted is a great start, there are still a few hurdles to jump before you can declare to the world that the property is yours. That’s why we recommend that you only tell your closest friends and family until you know the deal is completely sealed and the keys are in your hands.

Try not to stress

Although this one is easier said than done, it’s important to try and remain as calm as possible throughout the process. Getting stressed over buying your first house is very common, but remember to just focus on what is in your control and the rest will happen when it happens.

Got any questions, or just want to set your mind at ease about the whole mortgage buying process? Get in touch with me on 07375 886347 and I’ll be happy to help, or visit our website at mortgageadvicebureau.com/cambridge.

Because we play by the book, we want to tell you that your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. There may be a fee for mortgage advice. The actual amount you pay will depend upon your circumstances, but a typical fee is up to 1 per cent of the amount borrowed.

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