Finding a property in Wokingham is not always easy; there is the excitement of the property search but there are also a number of other things that you need to consider. The current uncertainty in the country could be making you nervous, but let us assure you that the number of first-time buyers across the UK continues to rise year on year. It is understandable for you to be overwhelmed with what is before you, but we hope our top tips will put you at ease and place you in a strong position when you find your first home.
1. Become a savvy saver
One of the biggest hurdles to home ownership is the deposit, so the sooner you make some adjustments to your lifestyle, the quicker you will see your savings pot grow. It is worth having a target to help you keep focused and on track, so when you’re having a dilemma on whether to buy that “must have” accessory or a coffee on your way into work, you will know the sacrifice will be worth it in the long run.
2. Keep your eye on your score
There are many credit monitoring sites out there, such as Experian, who can give you an insight into where your credit rating stands. This rating is crucial for strengthening your ability to obtain a mortgage – the higher it is, the more options will be available to you. Start to pay off any debt as soon as possible, and ensure you always pay any agreed payments such as your mobile phone and utilities on time, every time.
3. A factual budget
We sometimes meet first-time buyers who have done their research and produced a budget for what they can afford. This is great, but unless you have a budget based on realistic figures from a mortgage broker or lender, your budgeting could be fictional. By securing a mortgage in principle not only do you know the true figure you are able to offer when you find that dream home, but you also place yourself in a strong position when you come to make an offer.
When budgeting, make sure your savings will cover not only the cost of your deposit but all those additional extras that can easily tot up. There will be initial fees such as your surveys and valuation, stamp duty (if applicable) as well as solicitor fees and possible fees payable to the lender. In addition, think about your moving costs and any appliances and furniture you may need to buy. Being prepared for all these costs will make sure you don’t have any shocks as you go through the process of buying.
4. Don’t be rigid
For a long time you may have had a vision in your mind of the type of house you’re going to buy, and its location. But, on average, first-time buyers find themselves moving to a home 5.2 miles away from where they had initially set their sights. The advantage of looking further afield is that you may find you get more for your money, as well as making a wise investment.
Think about looking in up and coming areas rather than those places that have peaked. Also, be open to seeing properties that don’t match your list of criteria – you may be surprised by what wins your heart in the end.
5. The right mortgage
There are many different kinds of mortgages out there, so you need to find the right fit for you and your future plans. You can go direct to your bank or building society or you can ask an independent mortgage broker to show you a wide variety of products to see what is the best fit. You are under no obligation at this stage so it’s worth shopping around, we can put you in touch with an independent mortgage broker who our clients recommend should you wish.
6. The perfect team
When it comes to buying a property you need to have the right person by your side. The solicitor or conveyancer you choose will determine the experience you have and so you should never rush into deciding who to use. You want a conveyancer who will go into battle for you and push the sale forward whilst keeping you informed every step of the way.
As a buyer, there is nothing more frustrating than not understanding the process or never having calls returned. Your conveyancer will be able to explain each stage, undertake the searches, deal with land registry, chase your seller’s solicitors, handle contracts and the transfer of funds.
Our team at Quarters Residential can recommend a conveyancer in Wokingham should you wish, or you can ask friends and family for their recommendations.
7. Be responsive
One thing that sends nervous shivers down any buyer or seller’s spine is delays. Delays get people over thinking and can result in someone walking away. One of the most common causes of delays is miswritten paperwork or not responding quickly to requests for documentation or information. Be responsive, and do everything you can to prevent any delays in your chain. This will make a much smoother sales process and see you moving into your new home sooner rather than later!
As well as being responsive you also need patience. Some things will take time, but if you have the right team by your side, you will know that they will be doing everything they can to get you into your first home.
At Quarters Residential we are here to support you in finding and buying your first home, it isn’t just about the property, but also ensuring you understand the process and what is expected of you and when. We never want a first-time buyer to feel overwhelmed, and there are no stupid questions either! Speak to Nick or Teresa and let us help you find and move into your dream home in Wokingham.