First-Time Buyers Guide 2017
Taking your first step on the property ladder can be overwhelming, with long term decisions to be made and various costly factors to budget for.
With the right help and assistance though, the process doesn’t have to be stressful and you can enjoy setting up your new home.
Victoria Beilin, property manager and director of Liverpool agent BE Property Services, provides expert answers to some key questions for first-time buyers.
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Q&A with Victoria Beilin, director, BE Property Services
Q. What are the benefits of buying a property as opposed to renting?
Getting one foot on the property ladder can save money and means you’re in a strong position when you come to move to your next home. Think about it – when you’re paying rent you are paying off your landlord’s mortgage when you could be paying off your own.
Other benefits include being free to do work on and decorate your property, and you won’t have the risk of being asked to move out when the landlord wants to sell.
Q. Why should I use an estate agent when buying a home?
An agent can inform you of new instructions and offer quality local expertise when buying in certain areas.
It’s best to view new instructions as soon as they come on the market so you can establish whether or not they’re something you might be interested in.
Once you’ve put in an offer on a property and it’s accepted the agent is there to update you and assist as much as they can.
When you have a mortgage in principle, register your details with local agents so they can prioritise you on new instructions. Try and communicate with the agent face to face and let them know you are a serious buyer, ready to go!
Q. What do I need to budget for when buying my first home?
Factor in costs such as stamp duty and conveyancing fees while proceeding to purchase your new property. Then additional costs once you have completed will include the likes of home insurance and all utilities.
Once you move in you’ll be covering costs such as water, gas, electricity, TV licence, council tax and ongoing maintenance. You may also want to do some decorating to put your own stamp on your new home.
Always remember to keep up with mortgage payments or risk having your property repossessed.
Q. What should I have in place before I start viewing homes?
Make sure you have a mortgage in principle from the bank or a mortgage advisor – this can be with an independent mortgage advisor who may work in partnership with an estate agent, or you can speak to your bank to see what detail they can offer.
From there you can budget what you can afford so make sure you’re comfortable to borrow the amount you want. Try not to exceed an affordable price as this could result in your property being repossessed. It can also be worth checking out the many government schemes such as Help to Buy.
Research the area you wish to buy in too. For example, drive around it to see where the property is positioned and what is nearby.
Then when you do start looking at homes, view as many properties as possible to understand what you like and don’t like, and once you’ve found something place an offer with the agent.
If your offer is not accepted, ask the agent what the vendor would like to achieve and try to negotiate.
Q. Once i’ve had an offer accepted, how long will the process take until I can move in?
If you have a mortgage a survey will need to be carried out. For any first-time buyer it’s important to have a structural survey on any property to cover yourself.
Once this has been approved it’s then in the hands of the solicitors and the process can take up to 12 weeks until completion. This gives you time to prepare for when you collect your keys and you can search for the best deals on your home insurance and gas and electricity.
The whole experience can be overwhelming but enjoy being a homeowner as much as you can and don’t forget to keep up with your mortgage payments!
For more information contact BE Property Services on 0151 428 1769 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.