Finding & funding your perfect home can be an incredibly confusing process. We all wish buying a house was as easy as popping to the shops, but the fact is it’s just not that easy. From overall waiting times, legal management & the money at stake, buying a home can make for a stressful period in your life. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or someone who’s looking to purchase another property, buying a house is always going to require a lot of time, effort & energy. This is why we’ve gone ahead & written a few tips below which can make the process of buying a home more manageable. If you’re looking to buy a home but need a conveyancing service, Harrison’s are able to help.
Begin Your Research As Early As You Can
You may have heard the saying “Buy low, sell high.” This is especially true when it comes to buying a home, and it can be applied to any market. The housing market is constantly in flux, so keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s going on is important for making sure that you’re getting a good deal on your next home.
Whether you’re a few months or a few years from buying a home, you should always be researching to further understand and inform yourself. Websites, newspapers, magazines & even forums can help you to understand more about the state of the local housing market. This lets you keep your finger of the pulse of what’s going on, especially with asking prices as well as any other trends that may be occurring in the area you’re looking to buy a home in.
When researching local real estate trends, it’s important to look at more than just asking prices. You should also look at how many homes are selling each month and how many buyers are out there looking for properties in those areas. If there are more buyers than sellers, then prices are likely going up — but if there are more sellers than buyers (or vice versa), then prices will likely stay stagnant.
Have Your Budget In Mind
It’s a good idea to always have your budget in mind as it’s a factor that’s going to affect every step of buying a home. It’s especially important at the start of the process since it’s going to affect how much you’re going to be able to leverage from a lender. Lenders usually recommend that if you’re looking to put down a deposit of 20% on your home, then you should look for homes that are around 3 to 5 times of that of their annual household income. This is a general rule of thumb but you should always refer back to your own financial situation making sure that you’re keeping track of your financing in general.
Getting Preapproved For A Mortgage
This tip ties in with how much you’re going to be budgeting since it sets out how much you’re going to be able to spend. The quickest & clearest way of doing this is to be preapproved for the credit your Mortgage will allow. In order to be pre-approved, your lender will need to have financial information given to them. A lot of this information will already be with the bank but it is still your job to provide everything else to them. They’ll want to know your income, your spending history, your savings and also any investments you may have. Your lender will then review this information and come back with a credit amount that you’ll be given. This will immediately inform you of your budget and give you the price range you can apply to homes with moving forward,
Instructing A Solicitor
If you’re a first-time buyer then you may have heard the term “instructing a solicitor” thrown around in general chat which is confusing for some who have never dealt with arranging legal services before. Instructing a solicitor is basically just telling your selected conveyancer to act for you and to start work in terms of the legal communication & paperwork.
We wanted to include “instructing a solicitor” in this list because any home sale/purchase will have the chance to be delayed by one thing. Paperwork. If you are looking to speed up the process of buying or selling a home then instructing a solicitor is definitely a step that cannot be missed. The earlier you instruct your conveyancing solicitor, the more time they’ll have to contact the respective groups involved in the process.
A professional conveyancing solicitor will help you to:
- Obtain all of the information about your new home
- Review the details of the contract & title deeds
- Carry out the required local authority searches
- Manage the deposit & enable the exchange of monies
- Agree on the completion date & exchange contracts
- Check that all mortgage conditions are met
- Prepare transfer & mortgage deeds
- Deal with stamp duty land tax
- Provide transparent pricing & service you can trust and rely on
- A “no sale – no fee” guarantee to cover you should the sale/purchase fail
Being Thorough When Viewing Homes
This step might sound odd since the premise of buying a home is to browse around at areas you want to consider. The point we’re trying to drive is that finding your dream home will most likely take time and it’s easy to accept a property that might not meet all of your requirements for the sake of ease. You’re going to view a lot of houses, so it’s easy to lose sight of what you really want. Something we can recommend is taking notes and also a few pictures during your viewing. This will help you when you look back on the homes you’re willing to consider.
The first thing to do is take note of any red flags that come up during your viewing process. These could be things like:
- A house that’s in need of repairs or maintenance
- A home that has been on the market for too long
- A neighbourhood where burglaries have been reported recently
- A living area that doesn’t feel right (“This is too small” or “I don’t like this layout”)
Follow this little checklist for further planning
- Set a budget. This is the most important step, as it will determine what kind of property you can afford. Make sure to factor in all of your costs, including the down payment, mortgage payments, property taxes, and home insurance.
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage. This will give you an idea of how much you can borrow and will make the buying process go more smoothly.
- Start saving for a down payment. The larger your down payment, the lower your monthly mortgage payments will be.
- Do your research. Learn as much as you can about the buying process, including the different types of mortgages, the different neighbourhoods, and the different types of properties.
- Get a good real estate agent. A good real estate agent will help you find the right property and negotiate the best price.
- Inspect the property carefully. Before you make an offer, have the property inspected by a qualified professional to make sure there are no major problems.
- Make an offer. Once you’ve found the perfect property, make an offer that is fair to both you and the seller.
- Negotiate the terms of the sale. The seller may not accept your initial offer, so be prepared to negotiate the terms of the sale.
- Close on the property. Once you’ve agreed on the terms of the sale, you’ll need to close on the property. This is when you’ll sign all of the paperwork and officially become the owner of the home.
At Harrison’s Solicitors, we provide conveyancing and will writing services in Reading, Woodley, & Caversham. We aim to take the stress out of buying and selling a property. You can rely on us every step of the way. If you’re looking to buy or sell a home and are interested in our conveyancing service, please do not hesitate to contact us today.