5 simple steps you should take when you want to buy your first home

When you’re buying your first home it can feel like there are a thousand things to think about, from surveys to solicitors. This can sometimes be overwhelming, so it’s important to make a plan.

If you want to spare yourself a headache when organising the purchase, it’s important to take the process step by step. This can help to ensure that you haven’t forgotten any important tasks that could have helped to speed up the purchase.

With that in mind, here are five simple steps that every potential homebuyer should take.

1. Decide what kind of property you want

When you’re looking to buy a house, it can be easy to be overwhelmed by the variety of options. That’s why it’s important to think carefully about what you need, so that you can narrow down your search.

For example, what kind of area would you prefer to live in – urban, suburban, or rural? Do you want a fully or semi-detached house, or would an apartment be more convenient?

Thinking about which of your criteria are the most important can also be useful if you need to compromise, as many buyers often do. Would you be willing to sacrifice a large garden for an extra room, for example?

It’s also important to bear in mind that even if there are some aspects of a home that you don’t like, you can always change them once you’ve moved in.

2. Make sure you have your finances in order

Ensuring that you have a good credit score can be very important when you come to buy a house. Potential lenders use this score to determine how likely you are to be able to meet your monthly payments.

If you have a poor credit score, this may mean that lenders are less likely to offer you a mortgage or, if they do decide to, offer you one with less favourable interest rates. If you want to know more about ways that you can improve your credit score, read our previous article for useful tips that could help you.

Lenders may also want to look at your previous bank statements in the months running up to your application, so they can get a good idea of your household finances.

This is why it’s important to carefully manage your finances in the three to six months before you apply for your mortgage. For example, you may want to keep a careful eye on your monthly outgoings.

Some transactions can also set off red flags for lenders, such as payday loans or payments to gambling sites so try to avoid these if you can.

3. Assess how much you’re likely to be offered

Another important aspect of buying a home is understanding how much you’re likely to be able to borrow, so you know what kind of properties are within your price range.

Traditionally, the maximum you are able to borrow is four times your annual salary, but this isn’t always the case. Due to high house prices in recent months, some lenders have begun to offer five and five-and-a-half times annual salary.

You may also want to work out a budget to ensure that you are able to meet your monthly mortgage repayments, if you do secure one.

4. Remember to factor in other costs

When you’re saving up to buy a home, you’re probably going to focus on the cost of the deposit. While this is understandable, it’s important to bear in mind that there are other expenses to consider too.

Some of the most significant of these extra costs can be conveyancing, surveys, and valuation fees. On top of this you may also need to think about costs of physically moving your belongings to your new home, such as hiring a removal van.

While these expenses are unlikely to be as significant as your deposit, they do all add up so it’s important to put some money aside to cover these costs.

5. Speak to an adviser

When you move to a new house, there can be a lot to think about. If you want to make the process faster, easier, and less stressful then you may benefit from speaking to a professional.

When you work with a mortgage broker, they can help to make the process as hassle-free as possible. For example, they can help to identify which lenders would be most likely to approve your loan, making the process go much more smoothly.

Working with a professional can help you to increase your chances of securing a mortgage while taking much of the stress out of the process.

Get in touch

If you’re wanting to take your first step onto the property ladder and feel you would benefit from working with an expert, get in touch. Email enquire@london-money.co.uk or call us at (0207) 808 4120 to find out more.

Please note:

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other loans secured on it.