What should you consider when buying your first property?

There’s no place like home. Buying your first home is exciting and here we look at what you need to consider in making the right decision.

Firstly, know why you are buying your first property. Perhaps it is because you want your own space away from parents, family or flat-mates – you want your independence. You may want to enjoy your own style, hobbies, your way of living and not be compromised into fitting in with other people. You may want your privacy and have control over your own living space. Know what you want so that you know what to look for.

Where do you want to live exactly? Pinpoint on a map where you need to get to on a regular basis and how long you are prepared to travel. You will then have an area to base your search on.

How much do you want to spend? You need to be realistic. How much per month can you afford on a mortgage? Be exacting in working out your figures – you will need to prepare a budget of all your outcomes and remember to include an emergency fund. If you own a property there will be some maintenance now and again and as the owner, it will be up to you to fix it. With a budget in hand work out what purchase price you can afford. From that, look at property above that figure by up to 25%.

Decide what you need in your property. How many bedrooms do you want? Do you need an allocated parking space? Do you want to redecorate or renovate? Do you want a garden? How important is the area? Do you want to have a room to let out?

When you know what you want then prioritise them. You may be able to buy a two bed property a little further out of town rather than a one bed property in town. As you look at properties your priorities may need adjusting. You may be lucky to find the property that ticks all boxes or you may need to compromise on one or two.

Begin your search by using the internet. There are many search engines available and from there you can see photos, map, descriptions, prices and will have an idea of whether the property is worth viewing. It may be useful and time efficient to simply drive past properties so that you can decide if you want to view them. Photos of a property’s interior and exterior are limiting and do not show you the type of road or neighbouring amenities.

When you arrange to view a property try not to arrange too many viewings on one day. It is easy to mix the properties up and you need to have a fresh mind for each property so that you can appreciate both it’s good points and bad points. Take notes on each property, especially if the owner is present. It will be difficult to say your true thoughts if the owner can hear them!

Take your time. It is a buyer’s market. First time buyers with a mortgage secured are very desirable and every seller will be keen to sell to you.

Buying your first home will be an achievement. Enjoy the process and reap the rewards.

Susy Copus writes for the UK Property Search Engine, Wheres My Property. Susy also writes for Renovate Alerts who find property to renovate and Property Money Maker.

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