Mistakes to avoid when buying a property
Whether you’re a first-time buyer or a homeowner who’s ready to take another step up the property ladder, buying a house is a big decision, with an equally large scope for making errors. To help you get off to the right start when looking, here are the key mistakes to avoid when buying a property.
Not having an agreement in principle
A mortgage agreement in principle is a conditional offer on a mortgage, this is based on an income and credit check. You may be asked for one by an estate agent before even being able to book a viewing, to prove that you are serious.
You should have an idea of how much you might be able to borrow from the bank or building society before you start viewing properties. This will help you establish your budget and find properties within your price range. Your due diligence will also ensure that estate agent and seller will take your offer more seriously.
Only looking at superficial details
A property can seem ideal at first glance, but it’s important to check for any issues which might be costly to fix or maintain. You should always check walls and appliances around the home to ensure that everything works as it should.
Remember to check for signs of damp and rotting window frames, test the flush on the toilet, and don’t be too shy to turn lights on and off to check the electrics.
Not researching the area
If you’re relocating for your dream home, make sure you research the area fully before putting in an offer. Local amenities and the community can be just as important to your lifestyle as the home itself. Check the local crime rate statistics, talk to neighbours if you get a chance, and look up local schools, shops and any facilities you’ll need close by.
Underestimating overall costs
While it’s a great idea to focus on saving up enough for your house deposit, it’s important to remember all of the additional costs involved in buying a home. You’ll need to factor solicitor fees, survey and valuation costs, as well as home insurance before you can comfortably take your first step onto the property ladder.
Not acting quickly enough
If you’ve found the perfect property that works for you and your budget, try not to spend too much time twiddling your thumbs and mulling over the decision. If you overthink things and weigh up other options for too long before putting in an offer, you could see your dream home get snatched up by another buyer.
Acting too fast
While acting too slow isn’t advisable, rushing into things is no better. If you make a snap decision with little research beforehand, you could end up in a home that doesn’t realistically fit your budget on a monthly basis and even worse, doesn’t fit your needs.
Take some time to picture yourself in the house and conduct as much research as possible until you feel happy to make an offer. You should never make an offer solely because you feel pressured, as this will ultimately lead to regret.
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