Hello and welcome to my tips on buying a house post! I have split this topic in to two blogs, this is the first one, up to making an offer. Part 2 is also on the blog now which covers from making the offer to completion of the sale!
Just as a disclaimer, this post is not meant to be professional advice at all, but it just my tips from personal experience of buying houses… Buying a house and moving house are possibly the most stressful things ever! What makes this more difficult, is if you are a first-time buyer, you haven’t done it before!
So below is a bit about the process and my top tips!
Work out what you can afford
You need to work out not only what you can afford to buy but what you can afford to pay each month. Have a look at my house budgeting tips to see roughly what things are going to cost you each month.
Work out what you need to save
Once you know what you can afford to pay monthly on a property, you need to work out how much need to save as a deposit and what you can afford to buy. The more deposit you put down the less the monthly payments will be.
Have a look at the Halifax Mortgage Calculator which will give you a good idea of what you can buy based on your earnings and gives you a rough estimate of what your monthly outgoings would be in mortgage with a hypothetical deposit etc… Spend some time on here changing the deposit amounts and the amount you will spend on a house to see what a difference in deposit makes. Again, the more deposit you put down the better the rates of borrowing you can get.
This also gives a good idea of what you need to budget for your extra costs, think Tax and Solicitors fees! You may also have mortgage broker fees as well.
I don’t have any experience with government help to buy etc… but make sure you have a look in to all of that as well in case it is something that will help you!
Once you have looked at what you need to save, work out how much you can afford to save (have a look at my post on this here) and then start saving!
Have a really good look at the market
Rightmove is amazing- have a really good look at what’s about in your price bracket. Remember if something needs updating internally you will get something cheaper than if you are looking for something that is your dream home already- you can spend time re-decorating etc… and then increase the value yourself. Have a look at places that are outside your dream area, usually there are places very nearby but have a lower price point as they’re not quite so desirable. You will get more for your money by doing this.
Register with estate agents. These can sometimes be pesky but it’s a good idea as they will let you know about new properties as soon as they come on to the market
Before you make an offer
Before you make an offer on a property you will likely need to have a mortgage Decision in Principle about a mortgage for an offer to be accepted. You can get these anywhere (i.e. your local bank or building society or mortgage broker) and the DIP that you have doesn’t have to be the same mortgage that you go for when you actually get to buying a house so don’t worry about the details of it at this stage. This can take more time than you think so I would do this at the early stages of your house hunt! Also- don’t be put off my having the max you can borrow on your DIP- it will give you more options, but it doesn’t matter if you put an offer in at say £180,000 and your DIP says £240,000 – thats’s just how it works, you don’t need a DIP for the exact amount you offer.
How much should you offer?
This is completely individual. Make sure you have done as much research as you can about what similar houses have sold for in the area before by using Rightmove Sold Prices. This will show you whether the asking price is above market value or about right. In my experience people do offer well below the guide price on the off chance they can get it for a bargain, but it can really annoy the seller and put them off you. In my experience if I think the guide price is about right, I have offered about £10,000 less than the guide and negotiated from there. Obviously this depends on the value of the properties you’re looking at…
Whether or not the house has been on the market a long time or not can also be an indicator as to how much the sellers want to sell. If it has been on for more than 3 months they may be getting itchy to sell and be more open minded to a lower price.
In Summary – Tips on buying a house ~ Part 1
- Work out what you can afford to pay each month
- Work out how much you will be able to borrow
- Work out how much you need to save to get an affordable mortgage payment
- Get a mortgage Decision in Principle
- Have a look at some houses in your price range
- Find your house!
- Work out what you think it’s worth
- Make an offer!
Now read ~ Part 2 which covers from having an offer accepted to completion! Don’t forget to check out my other posts about Budgeting & Saving!
If you liked this post, please give it a like and a share!
Like my FACEBOOK PAGE