Buying a house? Five tips for first time buyers, by York financial advisers

Photograph: I See Modern Britain on Wikipedia
10 Jan 2019 @ 11.53 am
| Business

It’s never been more of a challenge for young people to get on the property ladder.

Houses in the city fetch figures well above the national average, but having a home to call your own is not just more comfortable, it’s an important investment for the future. Owning a property provides value that will continue to grow.

Fortunately York-based financial planners at Ardent are here to share their tips for buying your first home.

1. Put down a decent deposit

If you’re buying a home, you’ll need to make a deposit. Though it’s difficult to pull the money together to do this, it’s important.

If you don’t put down at least 10% of the purchase prices, interest rates on your mortgage will skyrocket. There are a few things that can make this easier:

  • Take advantage of no stamp duty. Being a first-time buyer means the government will wave your tax for purchasing. As long as your property costs less than £300,000, you can save a significant amount. Don’t forget though, you’ll still need to pay solicitors, surveyors and financial advisors.
  • Ask for a deposit as gift. Perhaps you received money from loved ones for Christmas that you could put towards a deposit? Or perhaps that birthday that’s coming up could be a good chance to ask for a contribution towards your 10%?
  • Open a Help to Buy ISA. As long as you’re 16 or over and have a National Insurance number, you can take advantage of a tax-free savings account aimed specifically at buying your first home. The government will even give you a 25% bonus once you’ve made the purchase. Our advisors at Ardent can explain this to you in more detail.

2. Seek financial advice

Let’s face it, buying a property is confusing, especially when it’s your first time, so it is highly recommended that you seek expert advice to help you through the process.

  • Find out what you can afford to buy. Financial advisors are able to tell you how much you can borrow and therefore how much you’ll be able to spend. If you don’t find this out before viewing, you could be looking at properties out of your budget.
  • Show vendors and estate agents that you’re ready to buy. If you’ve already understood your options, you’ll appear much more convincing to those selling and lending to you. That means you’ll be much more likely to close a deal when you find the right place for you.
  • Get certainty from your mortgage lender. Having all your finances set out by an advisor before you approach a lender will better your chance of them offering you a firm mortgage offer.

3. Decide on your monthly mortgage payments

Your current situation will determine how much you can afford to pay on your mortgage.

  • If you’re living with family, the costs might come as a shock. It’s important to make sure you’ll have the funds to manage a new monthly expenditure before you go ahead with your purchase.
  • If you’re already renting, you’ll be used to paying out every month. It’s likely that your mortgage payments will not be too different from what you’re currently paying. As an added bonus though, your payments will help you call the property your own.

4. View lots of properties

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to choosing your property. Having an idea of what you’re after will make your search more efficient.

  • Decide what kind of home you’d like. As simple as it sounds, if having a garden is your top priority, then a flat is not going to be right. Be clear on what’s most important to you and shortlist properties accordingly.
  • Think about renovating. For some, redecorating a property is a chance to make to a home. But you may not have the funds or time to do this. Keep in mind the work that will need doing when you view.
  • Prepare to be flexible. It’s normal to change your preference once you start visiting properties. Keep an open mind and don’t be deterred if you fall for a place that isn’t quite what you were expecting.

5. Make an offer

You’ve set your priorities, sought financial advice and found your ideal home. Now it’s time to make an offer.

  • Don’t be afraid to haggle. It’s nearly always the case that the price agreed is different from the price advertised. Negotiate with your estate agent and vendor so that you get the best deal possible.
  • Keep in touch with your financial advisor. At Ardent, we’ll support you every step of the way. On reaching the closing stages, keep in touch and make sure your finances suit the purchase price.

Follow these steps and you’ll be well on the way to buying your first home. An investment and a place you can call your own.

For personal Financial and Mortgage advice, Ardent are happy to help. Visit their website for more information on the services they provide here.