A Conversation for Tips on Buying a House

Tips for first time buyers

Post 1

Otto Fisch ("Stop analysing Strava.... and cut your hedge")

Dear all,

I bought my first house about six weeks ago, and here are some suggestions.

1. I didn't know what it should feel like when I found the right place, so I nearly bought one that was just okay. Use the force, and don't buy anywhere you're not *really* enthusiastic about. Can you picture it feeling like home, or is it just non-dreadful with no obvious flaws?

2. Make sure you've got enough cash. Not just for the deposit, but for furnishing, repairs, upgrades etc. It can be an expensive business....

3. Take the completion time given to you by your solicitor and then multiply it by between 1.5 and 2 times to get a realistic figure!

4. If you have kids, let them see the house before they move in. My parents didn't, and I remember feeling much more stressed about the move than I would otherwise have been (I was only ten or so....). When I saw the place, it was great!

5. Try to establish a personal rapport with local estate agents. If they like you, and you make them very aware that you're a serious buyer, you'll get the info on new properties first. Phone everywhere at least once a week. And tell them you want to move quickly. Although rapport building is a good idea, remember that the estate agent is working for the seller, not for you!

[all these are from my experience in the UK - may not all be relevent elsewhere.....]

Best wishes


Tips for first time buyers

Post 2

kelli - ran 2 miles a day for 2012, aiming for the same for 2013

And don't forget to put money aside for solicitors and stamp duty. If you are really stretching to get on the ladder it can be easy to forget that you will probably pay around £500 for convenancing. Stamp duty is a real b****r. You have to pay 1% tax on houses over 60k and then 2% once you hit the 250K mark (I think). If you are buying somewhere in the south east this will almost certainly apply to you even as a first time buyer.

smiley - puffk

Tips for first time buyers

Post 3


remember that the estate agent is working for the seller, not for you. And he/she will do anything to get what the seller wants - they will not stop at threats to withdraw the house from the market at the eleventh hour. STAND FIRM - DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED

Tips for first time buyers

Post 4

Lenny (Lynette)

Definitely do not be intimidated! Speaking as someone who is in the process of buying their first home, the whole thing is a pant-wetting experience.

My personal advice - get the mortgage sorted and in place as far as possible before you even start to look at houses.

Set an upper limit beyond which you will not go - try not to borrow more than 3 times your salary(ies). If you do, fine but be aware that interest rates will go up and you may be stuffed.

Set aside money for the solicitor - remember that you will need to account for stamp duty and many other sundry wonderments. Also, choose a solicitor by recommendation and preferably one you feel happy about going to with any silly question!

Only move on your own (ie without a removal firm) if you are v. strong and have many good and similarly strong chums.

Finally, I don't know really. Until we actually move in I know I won't sleep at night. This is the most stressful experience of my life!

Tips for first time buyers

Post 5


Remember that, as a first-time-buyer, if you have a mortgage arranged you are almost as good as a cash buyer. In an even race for a house, if you are a first-time or cash buyer you will win over someone involved in selling a property, because you don't add to the chain of buyers and sellers.

Check that the timescales the vendor has in mind fit in with your own, ask if there is a chain involved if they have already found a property to buy. Make sure that they want to sell! I have looked round a property where the elderly female owner was selling because her son thought it would be a good idea, she evidently didn't agree and had no intention of actually leaving.

Beware estate agents. When I bought my first home the vendor told me on the completion date that his estate agent had suggested remarketing the house to get another 2000 quid, but that he had refused because he needed to move quickly. I was furious, but of course, when it came time to sell I chose that same agent to do the job!

I bought my first house because it was all I could afford in the location I wanted and that turned out to be a good reason. My second I chose because it was well-priced due to its recent history and I liked the location. This was in the days before the estate agents particulars had to be mildly more accurate than the six month weather forecast and the "part-timber shed" turned out to be a part of a timber shed, likewise the "part glazed door to rear". My present house I chose with my wife as a family home, partly down to location, but also because it had the right amount of work to be done, the right price and it felt right.

If you are buying just as a first step on the property ladder, remember that if you try to increase the house value so that you can move on to something better, there still has to be a reason for the next tenant to buy it. The three location's are a terrible cliche, but very true.

Relax. I don't believe that any property is the one perfect one to have. If you lose it, start looking again, the experience may have re-focussed you on a differrent style/price/location.

The value of your house can go down as well as up. The mortgage deals being offered now are slightly reminiscent of the excesses that preceeded the last property price correction, circa 1988. Make sure that you can afford to service the mortgage if interest rates rise. Borrow as little as necessary.

Tips for first time buyers

Post 6

Lenny (Lynette)

...just discovered that owing to time taken with references and so on our house move is now delayed by another 4 weeks. Argh! Never underestimate the time it takes for your employers to send in references to the mortgage company!

Tips for first time buyers

Post 7

Demon Drawer

If you are looking for a house at hte cheaper end of the market, be prepared to put some work into it to bring it up to your dream house.

Budget for essetial repairs and rewiring that may be needed to make it up to standards you are used to. Check out and see if there are any grants loans available to help you restore a little bit of a run down house.

Look into the potential of extending the house, or incorporating changes if your house is listed you may encounter problems.

If you live in a terrace are you likely to be able to afford the house next down in the midium term as a way of expanding your space always a good way to up you area and value.

If you are prepared to slum it for a few years you may very well have been able to afford your dream home at your very first try.

Unfortunatley we got out bid for our first ideal dream house. We are hoping for better luck next time.

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