How to make buying your first home a lot less stressful
Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. If most people got a quid for every time they looked back and regretted a decision in their past, the world would be full of private jets and yachts! One of the biggest regrets many people carry around is the way they went about purchasing their first ever property. However, if you apply a little foresight and planning, you can avoid some of the big pitfalls that have caused countless people so much stress and unnecessary expenses. Here’s a list of some of the most important things you should know before buying a home. Read on, and your first steps onto the property ladder will be so much smoother.
Avoid Estate-Agent Sharks
This point isn’t to suggest that everyone who works as an estate agent is a money-hungry con artist. However, it is to do with the fact that these people stand to make a lot from commission, and will usually try to loop you into extra costs that you really don’t need. Many people make an offer on a home, and hear something along the lines of “If you want to buy this place, having our recommended solicitor and taking advice from one of our mortgage experts will make you a stronger candidate”. Even if they know that you already have a solicitor and mortgage broker in place, many of these “sharks” will try to milk you for a few more pounds for services you don’t need. Don’t feel pressured into anything, and know what you’re paying for before you agree to extra services.
Property Reports and Valuations Are Not Surveys
This can be very confusing for a lot of first-time homebuyers. When you’re in the process of buying, it’s common for a solicitor to send over an in-depth study of a house you’ve expressed interest in, including land checks and various other pieces of information. However, this is not an equivalent to a homebuying survey. These cost a few hundred pounds extra. It involves a qualified surveyor going over, and checking the property for any signs of expensive issues like damp. The combined information can help you make sense of more or less any maintenance-based home owners guide, and make it much easier to budget for any kind of home improvements. Though it’s another extra cost, arranging for a full home survey is certainly worth the extra peace of mind you get out of them. Most mortgage providers will arrange the survey for you with their own surveyor as a condition of having your mortgage accepted with them.
Don’t Let Price Keep You Up at Night
Naturally, you may feel a bit panicky over the price of the home you’re interested in. After all, it’s such a big chunk of money to owe the lender. If indices say that property values are soaring, what happens if all of a sudden, they collapse right in the middle of your purchase? With all the buzz about possible stock and price crashes on the horizon, it’s natural to feel like you’re walking right into a trap as you go about buying your home. Unless you’re entering the property market purely as an investor, it won’t be all that hard to soothe your worries. After all, you’re buying this property as a long-term home where you can live out many happy years, not an asset you intend to flip in a year or so.
It’s Going to Strain your Relationship
If you’re like most people, the news that you’re looking for somewhere to buy has probably prompted countless friends to give you all the advice they learned from when they were last looking for a place to buy. One of the many warnings you may have heard is that it’s going to be a strain on your relationship, no matter how long you’ve been together or how close you and your partner are. Again, like most people, you might scoff at this advice, thinking that you’re different from everyone else. Obviously, the process of house hunting doesn’t always end in divorce! However, it’s important to anticipate the strain it will have on your relationship. There are any number of stress factors that can come with the task of buying a house, and it’s going to be hard to make it through as the cheery, love-drunk couple you were when you first met. Just try to put a cap on your emotions, and look at every decision as objectively as possible.
Expect the Unexpected
If you could look back on the complete history of home-buying problems, you’d be absolutely amazed at the kind of things some buyers have had to go through in the past. Sellers have had babies in the time it took buyers to exchange. Sudden, bitter divorces can happen right at the top of the chain. Other buyers might suddenly find that the home they’re buying contains a collection of rare antique weapons, which need to be removed by a specialist firm over the course of weeks. There are any number of almost unbelievable things that can pop up and delay you polishing off the purchase, so don’t expect it to go too smoothly and set yourself up for a crushing disappointment.
Keep It on the Down-Low
As this is your first home you can call your own, you’ll obviously be excited and want to tell a lot of people about it. A few close friends and family members is fine, but don’t make it the talk of the town. You’ll feel proud and even more excited to begin with, but as various stress factors and uncertainties pile on, hearing people ask about how the house is coming along is going to be like nails on a blackboard. What’s worse is a lot of them will simply be scrambling for some way to make small talk, and won’t actually care about your new place at all! You’ve got enough weighing on your mind as it is, so don’t broadcast the fact that you’re buying if you can avoid it.