6 things to consider for first time buyers

white grey and red wooden house

I’ve rented houses my entire adult life. I’ve never been in a position to purchase a house before, and while we’re lucky enough to live in a gorgeous rented house with fantastic landlords, it’s still not mine. Renting obviously has some benefits {such as not being financially responsible for repairs}, yet there’s also the knowledge that you are only borrowing the home and one day may have to move out even if you don’t want to. I’ve always felt that buying a house is unaffordable for me.

With five kids at home, plus running a business from home and home educating, we need a lot of space. I’m also hoping that once I have passed my driving test, I’ll be able to move slightly out of town. I don’t want to live miles out of town as I’d become a permanent taxi service – but I want a little less of the noise that comes with living where we do.

I’ve been doing a little research, starting to think about all the practicalities of buying a house for the first time. Here are a few things you should consider when purchasing your first property:

  1. How much can I afford to borrow? – Perhaps the most important thing to consider before you start house hunting. Working out what mortgage you can afford means that you’ll only be looking at houses you stand a chance of actually being able to purchase.
  2. Plan out all costs – work out how much you will need altogether – deposits, solicitors fees, moving costs… Knowing ahead of time how much it will cost to move home means you can budget better.
  3. Research where you want to live – Looking at areas before you look at houses means you can decide if it is right for you. There’s no point finding the perfect house if the area is completely unsuited to what you need.
  4. Decide what you need from a house – they say ‘don’t buy for today, buy for tomorrow’ – ie don’t buy a house that suits what you need today if you think your circumstances may change soon. Buying a two-bedroom house when you plan to have a large family soon might not be the best move. Spend some time searching rightmove.co.uk to see what is available and how it fits your list of criteria.
  5. Be flexible – while it’s good to know what you think you want from a house, it’s also wise to have room for flexibility. You might find you have to compromise on some of your wants to keep to your budget.
  6. Don’t rush – while obviously, sometimes you do need to move quickly, if you aren’t on a tight time scale, take your time searching for the right house. Don’t purchase a home that you think is just ‘OK’ because you feel you need to just do it. You’ll only regret it later and it can be a costly and troublesome mistake to fix.

What advice would you offer to somebody looking at purchasing their first home?

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