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7 Must-Know Tips for First-Time Home Buyers in Cheadle

3 months ago
7 Must-Know Tips for First-Time Home Buyers in Cheadle

So, you have decided to embark on the exciting journey of purchasing your first home! As an experienced estate agent and someone who has moved house a few times, I still remember looking for my first home and how exciting it was, albeit quite daunting at the same time, but the temptation to jump headlong into the buying process was very strong, I was just lucky I had good people around me including my mortgage broker and solicitor to reign in my naïve enthusiasm. Buying your first home requires meticulous preparation and research,  it’s a significant financial investment and a life-changing commitment. To help you navigate this process smoothly, I’ve compiled a list of the seven most important things to consider before setting out on your journey.

1. Know Your Budget: Before you start house hunting, it’s crucial to crunch the numbers! And determine how much you can realistically afford to spend. Consider your current income, savings, monthly expenses, and any future financial goals. Remember, your budget isn’t just about the purchase price of the house; it also includes associated costs, such as taxes, insurance, and ongoing maintenance expenses.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage: Getting pre-approved for a mortgage gives you a clear picture of how much you can borrow from lenders. It also strengthens your position as a serious buyer when making an offer on a home and Estate Agents are likely to take you more seriously if you have a mortgage agreement in principle to show them. Compare offers from multiple lenders to find the best mortgage rates and terms that suit your financial situation, by taking advice from an independent financial adviser, who has access to the whole market and not limited to a one lenders product, or in some corporate agents case, receiving enhanced payments from parent or associated insurance companies, but the product may not be the best one for you.

3. Location Matters: Location is one of the most critical factors to consider when buying a home. It is very easy to be drawn in to a home’s physical attributes, and whilst aesthetics is important, practicality is equally if not more important.  Research the neighborhoods you’re interested in, considering factors such as safety, schools if you have school age children or are planning on having a family, local amenities – how near are the shops? Are there parks or other green areas nearby for walks, where is the nearest gym? and what are the public transport links like in proximity to your workplace. Visit the area at different times of the day to get a feel for the community and determine if it aligns with your lifestyle now and the foreseeable future.

4. Understand the Homebuying Process: Familiarize yourself with the steps involved in buying a home, from house hunting to completing the purchase and picking up your keys. Educate yourself on estate agency terminology, property negotiations, the different types of surveys available, and legal requirements in your area. Having a clear understanding of the process will help you make informed decisions and avoid potential pitfalls along the way. It is also important to engage a competent solicitor early in the process, as transactions have become much slower post Covid, so having a good solicitor who is good at communicating and on the ball can save time, stress and worry.

5. Consider Resale Value: While it’s essential to find a home that meets your current needs and preferences, it’s also wise to consider its resale value down the road. Look for properties in neighborhoods with a strong housing market and potential for appreciation. But also, be aware that over the last eighteen months, property prices can fall as well. Look at areas that are holding their value even in a more challenging market.  Pay attention to factors that may affect resale value, such as property condition, curb appeal, and nearby planning applications and developments.

6. Don’t Skip the survey: A survey is a critical step in the homebuying process that shouldn’t be overlooked. Hire a qualified Chartered Surveyor to thoroughly evaluate the property for any structural, mechanical, or safety issues. Review the inspection report carefully and address any concerns with the sellers agent before proceeding with the purchase. There are three options really. A basic lenders valuation, which will not look at the structure, but basically assess with the property is suitable for lending the amount of money you have applied for. A scheme two or Home Buyers Inspection is the most popular choice for many buyers and is pretty comprehensive and grades potential issues on a 3, 2, 1 basis, with 3’s being the most important and requiring immediate attention. A full structural survey is the most in-depth report and recommended for older or properties with an unusual construction. 

7. Plan for Future Expenses: Owning a home comes with ongoing expenses beyond the monthly mortgage payment. Be prepared for maintenance and repair costs, homeowners insurance, and utilities. Create a budget that accounts for these expenses and set aside funds for unexpected emergencies or home improvements and alterations as your needs change over time.

In conclusion, buying your first home is an exciting milestone that requires careful planning and consideration. By following these seven essential tips, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the homebuying process with confidence and peace of mind. Remember, the right home is not just a place to live but a foundation for building cherished memories and achieving your dreams.

If you would like to get more information on the house buying process, or some useful checklists to help plan your move, please call Joe, Patrick or Maurice on 0161 428 3663, e-mail sales@mkiea.co.uk or why not pop into our busy office on Cheadle High Street for a chat – we would love to help.

Happy house hunting!

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