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5 things to do when searching for your first property

Starting your search for a property can be filled with excitement when you realise the prospect of owning your first home could soon become a reality.

You know exactly what type of property you want to buy. You know exactly where you want to buy it.

You’ve probably spent months scrolling through the internet and peering at the adverts in estate agents windows.

But what steps could you take to make the whole process easier for you?

I’ve put together a list of 5 things for you to do when beginning the search for your perfect property!

Check them out below!

1. Arrange Your Mortgage

My first recommendation to anyone who wants to buy a property is always this:

Arrange your finances first and understand how much you can borrow on a mortgage.

It’s important you speak to a bank or an Independent Financial Adviser to gain a thorough understanding of what mortgage deals are available to you – and how much lenders are prepared to give you.

Once you know this, and you’re armed with your Agreement in Principle, you’ll automatically put yourself in a stronger position and be safe in the knowledge of what you can afford.

2. Put money aside for upfront costs

Alongside arranging your mortgage, you need to take into consideration the upfront costs associated with buying a property and factor these costs into your budget.

For example –

When you have an offer accepted on your dream home, you’ll need to pay the mortgage lender a valuation fee – this means the lender will instruct a surveyor to visit the property and take into consideration the price you are purchasing for to ensure that it’s fair.

This fee normally ranges from around £150 to £300 but it should not to be confused with a structural survey which identifies major repairs and maintenance work.

Unless required by the lender, structural surveys tend to be an additional cost, and they usually range from £250 for a basic home condition report to £500 or more for a report that’s more in-depth.

Though the upfront cost associated with a structural survey may seem off putting for some, paying for a good survey report could ultimately save you a lot of money in the future.

3. Register with local estate agents

Contact your local estate agency branches and register your details with each of them.

Any good estate agent will make prospective buyers aware of a new property before it hits the open market, so you’ll want to make sure they’re able to contact you if something suitable comes along!

4. Set up alerts on all the major property websites

As I’m sure you’ve recently been scrolling through the likes of Rightmove and Zoopla, create an account and set up email alerts to be notified when new properties hit the market.

Calling the agent quickly and arranging an early viewing could put you well ahead of the competition!

5. Make time for viewings

Depending on the current market conditions finding the right home for you could take a little while.

It’s essential you’re able to make the time for viewings – especially if an ideal property comes on to the market and you need to act quickly.

As flexible working is becoming increasingly more common, let your employer know you’re looking to buy a property and see if arrangements can be made for you to attend viewings as and when needed.

I understand this may not be an option for everyone, but make sure you’re trying to keep as much time free as possible to attend viewings when you need to!

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Categories:buying, first time buyer, for sale, guide, tips, viewings

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