First-time buyer blog: What every first-time buyer needs to know
This is a legacy post from the findaproperty.com blog which is now maintained as an archive within the Zoopla blog. Links have been preserved.
So what is it really like for a first-time buyer in the current market? Previous blogs of mine would have indicated it’s been a bit of a slow process. I can honestly say that when we started looking for our first home I didn’t think it would take this long.
I have learned a valuable lesson. Or several, actually, which I thought I’d share with you. Here’s what finding your first home actually requires:
A lot of money Not only for the mortgage, but for everything else that a first-time buyer may need to pay for within the first month or so. To list a few there is the deposit, lender/booking Fee (depending on your mortgage package), valuation fee, legal/conveyancing fees, stamp duty (if applicable), removal costs, insurance, plus a bit more if you need white goods for the kitchen or any furniture. The lesson here is to budget realistically right at the beginning.
A lot of time Househunting does take up an awful lot of time, not just the search on such websites as FindaProperty, but the research into mortgages, liaising with estate agents, and the viewings themselves.
Patience and a positive attitude I won’t lie, there has been the odd Saturday evening after a full day of disappointing viewings where I have been pretty hacked-off with it all. The thought of another potential viewing which included the smell of cat food, children crying upstairs, leaking roofs or tiger print décor was enough to make me want to throw in the towel. However, this does take a long time, it is a huge decision and a positive attitude goes a very long way.
An achievable wish list What you will and won’t compromise on. It took us quite a few viewings to realise what was really important to us.
A good relationship with estate agents After all, they’ll be the ones who will call you when a new property comes in. Registering for their email alerts and having the occasional viewing with them won’t be enough. They really need to know what you would like, and need to be kept updated if your circumstances or budget changes.
A tip-top house hunting partner I’m fortunate enough to be sharing this experience with my partner, Dave. I appreciate that not all first-time buyers have someone to share the experience with – both physically and financially. But even just having someone there with you for the viewings – spotting things you may have missed, and laughing with you at the things you wish you had missed makes the whole experience a lot more fun.
Follow Emma on twitter @polkadotcherry