It goes without saying that as buying a home is likely to be the largest financial transaction you complete in your lifetime, you want to make sure that you get everything right.
Using conveyancing solicitors to check out all of the legal aspects of the property is one of the actions that is necessary if you want to make sure that everything is as it should be in terms of the paperwork, but there are also some other aspects to consider, which you also need to get right.
Buy for the long term
Too many people view the property market as a one-way ticket to capital growth, and it would be hard to argue with that observation when you look at the way property prices have risen over the years.
Despite the optimism that you will profit from a rise in value of the house that you are buying, that would be the wrong reason to buy.
It is a much better strategy to consider your options carefully and choose a property that you intend to stay in for the foreseeable future. You can’t always predict what is going to happen in your working or personal life and it may turn out that you have to move sooner than anticipated, but your aim when buying, is to choose a property that you believe will be your home for some time to come.
Taking that approach will mean that you are less likely to suffer financially if you need to sell a couple of years later and the market has slowed or dropped in value.
Affordability is key
Mortgage lending criteria has tightened in recent times so the issue of affordability is addressed more openly than it was in the past.
If you are buying a property for the first time, it is inevitably going to put a certain amount of strain on your finances, as you have to find a deposit and all the other expenses associated with completing a purchase.
A common approach is to look at properties at the top end of your affordability level. It is understandable that you want to buy the best property that you can afford, but there is plenty of sense in scaling your ambitions back slightly, so that you leave yourself a bit of breathing space from a financial perspective.
Lenders will scrutinize your outgoings anyway to ensure that you can afford to make the mortgage payments, even if the interest rates go up. Putting in your own affordability limits beforehand will only help the success of your mortgage application and will put less of a strain on your finances.
Cost everything out
Another common faux-pas that first-time buyers in particular, are caught out by, is the amount of added costs that are attached to not just buying the property, but living in it.
Becoming an owner rather than a tenant will mean that you have to find the cash to pay for any repairs or improvements, and there are property taxes and insurances to consider as well.
Make sure you cost everything out, so that you know your income will be sufficient to cover the running costs of your new home.
Becoming a homeowner is an exciting time and can be very rewarding, as long as you make all of the right moves before you complete.
Maya Miles has heard a lot of horror stories over the years in her job as a real estate agent and wants to help people to avoid some common, and not so common, errors when it comes to buying a house. Look out for her articles on personal finance and property blogs.
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