By Kirsty Cooper

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 15:53

Buying a property for the first time is an exciting milestone. It can also be quite a daunting prospect, but with the right advice and plenty of homework, the process can be smoother than you might imagine.

Kirsty Cooper offers his top tips:

Establish a budget – you will need to know how much you can afford to spend on your new property. The best starting point is to speak to an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA). They will be able to search the whole market for a variety of mortgage products and then advise you on the most appropriate one.
Save – It’s best to have as large a deposit as possible in order to secure the best mortgage rates and to minimise your repayments. You will also require funds to cover solicitor fees, Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), moving costs etc.
Appoint an experienced solicitor - one who specialises in Residential Property work. They will advise on how much to offer for a property, liaise with your lender to ensure that the funds are in place to complete the purchase, examine the Title Deeds and other documents pertaining to the property and will complete all the legal work to ensure that you are the new legal owner. A more detailed guide to the role of the solicitor is available here
Visit as many properties as you can - This will give you a clearer idea of what you like and what you don’t. It will also give you a better feel for the market and an idea of what represents best value.
Register your requirements – most estate agents operate a database of buyers. It is worth registering with local agents to ensure that you are notified when suitable properties appear on the market. Websites such as the ESPC also have a facility to allow you to receive updates about new properties coming to the market.
Do your research – If you are not particularly familiar with an area it is prudent to drive or walk around to see the nature and level of the local amenities. What are the transport links like? Will you easily be able to get to work? Do you have friends that live locally? All of these factors can have a considerable impact on the suitability of a particular area.
Be open-minded – You will have a perception of your ideal first-time purchase, but the property that you end up purchasing may be quite different to what you originally had in mind.
Be disciplined – Don’t allow your heart to rule your head. As a first-time buyer, your purchase will almost certainly have to be sold by you at some point in the future. Choosing a property that will appeal to a wide range of people will be much easier for you to sell when the time comes.
See past poor décor – a poorly presented property is not necessarily an unsuitable purchase. See past the dated décor, avocado bathroom suite and patterned carpets. A coat of paint can transform any flat or house.
Be patient – It is tempting to want to purchase your new home at the earliest opportunity. Bear in mind that the market constantly changes with new properties appearing almost every day. Wait for the right one.

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