Buying a house for the first time can be daunting, perhaps because lack of experience can make us fear change.  While this isn’t a comprehensive list about things to consider as a first time buyer, it will give you that crucial guidance to make the process a little easier.

Get Your Finances Sorted

When you are considering buying a house, you need to know exactly what your budget is and how much you can afford to pay as a deposit as well as solicitors fees.  Have a serious look at your finances, including any credit or store cards, personal loans and hire purchase agreements.  If you can afford to, pay these off and start funnelling your money into a high interest account instead.  Most mortgages require a deposit of at least 5%, but a deposit of up to 20% can help to save you money on repayments, and can increase your budget.

Consider Your Options

It’s not always about location, location, location; sometimes you have to consider the cost, the condition and then the location.  That being said, it is much better to choose a house in the best location that needs some home improvements rather than one in a poor area which needs little cosmetic repair.  Check out the neighbourhoods that you are considering at all times of the day, gangs may congregate on evenings and there may be excess noise from local pubs.  Think about how properties lie in relation to industrial sites and whether noise might be an issue.  While noise pollution may already be taken into account in the asking price, it could still form part of the negotiations, or could even discount a property from your choices altogether.

Stay Within Your Budget

You never can tell what the future holds!  Nobody does!  Although you can’t plan for every eventuality, you can mitigate problematic situations by being prepared.  Think about the various situations that can arise, for example redundancy, illness, pregnancy or even separation.   Life events can get in the way, but if you are employed you can protect your income with insurance so that you can still meet your commitments if you lose your job, or are unable to work due to ill health.

Know Your Neighbours

If you are able to meet the neighbours where you plan to live then do so.  It will give you a chance to meet people in the community and you can make those crucial judgments on whether or not you would be able to fit in.  Trust your intuition!  If someone selling a house reveals various problems with neighbours, you might want to consider whether the neighbours are the problem, of if it’s the seller!  It means talking to people, or alternatively, you might just want to keep yourself to yourself.

If you do find the perfect house, get your bid in quickly and keep your fingers crossed!

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