First Time Buyer Mistakes to Avoid
Buying your first home is a very exciting time but also can be quite a stressful time. As a newbie to the process, it can be quite daunting at times and there are a few areas that we think you should be aware of to manage your expectations and common mistakes which you could avoid.
How’s your credit score?
First thing first, what is your credit score like? Your credit score is a number that influences your chances of getting a mortgage. The higher the score, the more creditworthy you are whilst a low credit score can be seen to lenders as more of a risk.
If you have a low credit score, there are a few things that you can do to improve your credit score. Having a low credit score doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re unable to get a mortgage, you may have higher interest rates from lenders because you’re seen as a higher risk.
If you have no urgency when it comes to buying your first house and you have a low credit score, it might be worth spending three months improving your credit score. Improving your score can lead to better rates and more mortgage products.
Have a mortgage in principle before you start viewing houses
A common mistake is that first time buyers make is that they start viewing houses before they’re aware of what they’re able to afford. It works both ways, you could be looking at houses that are out of your budget or you could be able to afford more than you think.
A mortgage in principle isn’t an official mortgage offer however it’s something that you can show to the estate agents and the sellers to prove that you’re a serious buyer and able to afford the property.
Don’t overlook any issues
You may think it’s fine to overlook the damp that’s in the corner or the small structural issues because you found your dream house. However, those issues could lead to a potentially large renovation cost.
If the property has been on the market for a long time that could be an indication that there is some underlying problem standing in the way of the sale. You might be able to use this as a ‘bargaining chip’ with the sellers to get the house at a lower price.
It’s always worth taking someone who is experienced when you’re viewing a property – they may be able to spot problems that you would otherwise miss.
No matter what, be prepared to walk away from your dream home as the potential issues can be extremely costly, time consuming and can cause you quite a few problems in the future.
The value of a survey
A survey will provide you with hard information on the condition of the building and the surrounding areas such as where the main water pipes run. This information is imperative because on the outside your potential new property can look like there aren’t any problems.
Along with anything that may be happening in the area such as HS2 or any new development plans.
For example, the main water pipe might run through your garden which can mean you can’t buy an extension in the future. Or you learn that they are building a brand new housing estate nearby, so that quiet village scenario that you liked will be no longer with the increase of housing.
There are various types of surveys you can choose from and you can pay more for surveys that can go into more detail.
Freehold vs Leasehold
Do you know the difference between the two? These terms are something that you will see a lot when you’re looking for a property and it’s important to know the difference between them.
Freehold property is when you own the building along with the ground that it sits on. A leasehold is when you own the home but not the ground that it sits on. As you don’t own the ground, there is a ground rent charge to consider.
Cost everything out
The property cost isn’t the only cost that you will need to consider, you will need to think about solicitors’ fees and any removal costs when buying the property.
When you’ve brought the property, you will need to think about the costs of running your home (e.g. water, electricity, council tax, broadband and a tv license) Additionally, you will be responsible for any maintenance repairs so it might be worth setting aside money each month as a ‘contingency’ for any urgent repairs that may occur.
Choosing a mortgage broker
Using a mortgage broker like ourselves can make it easier for first time buyers when looking for a mortgage. A broker should be able to quickly source a mortgage product that fits your credit history, affordability, speak to lenders on your behalf and submit paperwork in the correct format for lenders which can speed the process up.
Additionally, there are some lenders who will only work with brokers and offer exclusive deals therefore, individuals will not be able to access them.
At Amplo Mortgages, we pride ourselves on taking the stress out of arranging your mortgage, managing the process from start to finish whilst keeping you regularly updated.
Overall, there is quite a lot to think about when becoming a first time homeowner but it will be worth it in the end. Avoiding some of these common mistakes can make the process of buying a house a little bit easier for you and less stressful.
Get in touch with our team on 01270 443510 or 020 3984 0375 to discuss all your requirements. Alternatively, complete our contact us form and a member of our team will be in touch with you as soon as possible.