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Understanding the Process When Buying Your First Home

As a first-time homebuyer, it’s natural to feel nervous, apprehensive, scared, excited, and all the other emotions. If you’re just starting on this journey, this article will explain the process that you’ll pass through from beginning to end. While it can seem daunting at first, good decisions will make the difference between success and failure. 

A General Homebuying Guide 

As you get to within one year of when you want to move, you’ll need to research locations, compare estate agents, and get the notebook out. If you’re moving with a partner or another loved one, talk to them about your needs and what you want from the property. Also, take advantage of homebuyer kits and other online resources. 

If you don’t know what you can afford, it’s best to arrange a meeting with a mortgage or financial advisor. They will consider your earnings to calculate potential repayments; from here, they will then work out what sort of mortgage you can expect. Of course, those lucky enough not to need a mortgage don’t need to worry about this step. 

Once you know what you can afford, you can refine the search process. Though you will find various online calculators, don’t assume that they are 100% accurate because they can never consider your individual circumstances. On the other hand, a mortgage advisor can provide tailored advice. 

For most buyers, the next stage is where everything happens at once. They find a property, apply for a mortgage, and contact legal representation and a surveyor. While legal representation isn’t always necessary, it can be useful as a first time homebuyer because it can highlight local problems or planning issues. 

Elsewhere, the surveyor is critical because they will look for problems in your new home – the last thing you want is to move in only to find that the property is crumbling at the foundations. As well as performing your own property survey, the lender will likely survey the property to ensure that the price you’re paying is worthy of the mortgage. The reason you can’t rely on this survey alone is that the lender simply wants to identify the property value rather than highlighting potential repairs and issues. 

If everything has gone smoothly so far, you might encounter some bumps in the next stage. Why? Because the surveyor might identify some problems that affect your willingness to buy the property (or at least pay the asking price). Alternatively, the lender might say that the value of the property is under the mortgage for which you’ve applied. Unfortunately, this leads to a shortfall. 

Depending on the circumstances, the seller could also withdraw from the market, or the mortgage company could reject your application. Sadly, some sellers accept a bid from another buyer and then this leaves you back at square one. 

When the circumstances allow, you’ll finalise your dream property and the mortgage will be arranged on your behalf. Before signing anything, ensure that you’re confident about the property and have made the right decision. If all goes well, you’ll exchange contracts and then you’ll be the owner of a property. 

Even in the completion stage, you’ll need to follow the right processes, so it helps to have a great advisor with lots of experience in the field. For example, you’ll need to pay the legal company, the surveyor, and ensure that the transfer of ownership goes smoothly. 
Buying a home can seem scary, but it’s one of the most rewarding experiences when you’re left standing inside your own property!

Red Note: 30 September 2022

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