Buying a house is one of the biggest purchases many people make in their lifetime. For a single first time home buyer, the cost of a house and the procedure involved can seem especially intimidating.
With first time buyers reported to be facing an average £33,000 deposit, getting on the property ladder has become increasingly difficult over the past few years.
For those looking to go solo when buying their first home, CashLady has come up with a few hints and tips to help you along the way on your house hunting journey.
Mortgage brokers can be worth their weight in gold
Not many people are able to buy their first home without a mortgage in place to finance the purchase.
Searching for a mortgage can seem daunting. Different mortgages involve different fees. Mortgage providers can offer various types of mortgages, each with their own list of pros and cons.
If you go directly to a mortgage provider, they may only be able to advise you about their products. A mortgage broker can often take your details and search many different lenders for a mortgage that could suit you.
A good broker should be able to tell you exactly how much your mortgage will cost you, including any fees or free surveys. Mortgage brokers should also be experienced in the industry and may even be able to advise you on what the general feeling is about issues such as interest rate rises, to help inform your decision.
However, as we’ll discuss below, no-one will be able to tell you with 100% confidence about what will or will not happen.
Widen your search net if you are a single first time home buyer
Many people start searching for a house with preconceived ideas about where they will or will not live.
However, by widening your search net and taking a look at homes in different areas, you could be surprised how much more you could get for your money. If you are a single first time home buyer, you may find that you could have to compromise on location to get the property you want.
Plus, you could even find an ‘up and coming’ area that the investors haven’t discovered yet.
Your ‘survey’ may not be a survey
If you are taking out a mortgage, a lender will probably do their own valuation survey to check the property is worth what you want to pay for it. However, a valuation survey is not, by any means, a full survey.
It is worth checking what type of survey would be best for you. A HomeBuyer Report, for example, is often opted for by those who are buying a house which looks to be in relatively good condition.
This type of survey can help to alert you to any major problems but the surveyor will not look under floorboards, for example. This typically costs around £500.
More (or less) comprehensive surveys can be undertaken for varying amounts of cash.
It is important to understand what type of survey you are getting and what is and is not included.
For a full list of surveys and their pros and cons, take a look at the MoneyHelper website.
Be smart but don’t overly worry
No-one has a house price or interest rate crystal ball.
Take advice from professionals and use this to inform your decisions, but try not to stress too much.
As we mentioned above, no-one can predict the future with 100% certainty.
Exchange and completion
Although exchange (of the contracts) and completion (of the sale) can happen on the same day, this is rarely the case.
Many people now want several days, weeks or even months between exchange and completion. This gives them time to organise removal vans or hand in notice on rented accommodation.
Also, it may not be a particularly good idea to hand in notice on any rented accommodation until you have exchanged contracts and are pretty sure that the purchase is going to go ahead. Otherwise, you could find that you are without a home.
Speaking to a solicitor about where you stand legally is a good idea if you have any questions or concerns about the house buying process.
Buying your first house can be stressful, especially if you are a single first time home buyer. Sometimes, it may be necessary to widen the search net to find that dream home.
Buying a home is often a time-consuming and tough task. Do your research and take professional advice to ensure that you fully understand the process.
Most of all, enjoy it – you will never be single first time home buyer again if everything goes to plan!