First Time Buyer Tips


Buying your first property can be exciting, but also confusing and expensive. However, getting on the property ladder may be easier than you think.

Here are some tips from a legal professional to help you on your way.

1) How much will the whole process cost?

Write down how much you’ll be paying for solicitor’s fees, mortgage fees and calculate any overlap with your current rental property – it all adds up.

2) What size of mortgage can I get?

We would advise all first time buyers to make an appointment with an Independent Financial Advisor or chat with an independent fees free online broker like Habito*. With access to thousands of mortgage products and some exclusive deals, independent advisors are perfectly placed to tell you not only how much each lender will give you but also how that translates into monthly payments. The initial appointment takes less than one hour and your adviser will with your permission obtain a ‘Decision in Principle’ on your behalf. A Decision in Principle or alternatively termed a Mortgage Promise means that a lender is in principle willing to lend that amount of money to you. This is of course subject to a full mortgage application from you and verification of your salary and commitments. The decision in principle means you are in a position to narrow your search to properties in a certain budget and start viewing.

3) Find a local solicitor.

It pays to have a local solicitor to advise on the market in the area you are looking to buy and the benefits are infinite. You will understand that trends develop very quickly in the property market and because of both the volume of transactions we are carrying out and our detailed knowledge of the local market we are hopefully able to keep our clients “ahead of the game”. Most importantly prior to setting out house hunting we will take the time to explain precisely how the system works and what pitfalls to look out for.

4) Viewings and Research

You now have an idea of your budget and a solicitor in place so it’s time to start looking.  Register with property portals such as the ASPC, ESPC, On the Market etc. It is also worth speaking with the estate agents to get some advice and registering to get information on their new properties first. You should view a minimum of 5 shortlisted properties and also read the Home Report before making a decision.

5) Note interest and Make an Offer

Once you have identified the right property you should contact your solicitor to note your interest with the sellers solicitor. At this stage your solicitor should advise on the best process which will usually involve making an opening offer to the seller’s solicitor and thereafter negotiating on your behalf.

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