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Buying a house can be both a very exciting and also very stressful time – especially if you’re a first time buyer! If you’ve made the big decision to become a home owner, there are a few important things to consider before you take the leap. Here at Walkers Windows, we’ve created a rough guide for first time buyers to help you through the initial steps in their simplest form.
Saving for a deposit is one of the most important aspects when considering buying a home – and the more you can put down for a deposit the better as bigger the deposit the lower the interest rate will be*. Your mortgage will be secured against the remaining value of the property – for example for a property worth £150,000 paying 10% at £10,000 will leave 90% left which will normally demand a lower interest rate than paying a 5% or 7% deposit. The cheapest loans available are normally offered to buyers who are able to pay 40% deposit.
Next you need to work out how much you can afford to pay back each month. Most mortgages are paid back over 25 years but they can be spread over less or more time depending on what you can afford to pay back in monthly instalments. Mortgages are available from your bank or building society but it’s worth shopping around as interest rates and other fees can vary.
Once you’ve worked out what you can comfortably afford to pay back each month towards your mortgage, it’s time to consider other costs such as solicitors fees, the cost of the survey and how much you’ll have to pay out towards furnishing and/or decorating your new home. The last thing you want to do is stretch your budget to purely cover the mortgage and leave yourself nothing to make your home comfortable. If you’re on a tight budget, it’s worth looking for a property that needs little or no work. The big things to watch for are kitchens are bathrooms as these usually require a lot more work to refurbish due to built in units and appliances. The purpose of a survey it to carry out a full inspection to make sure there’s no hidden work that you might not have considered such as updating the electrics or plumbing – which can cost a fortune!
Before anyone is approved for a mortgage, your bank or building society will want to carry out some checks to make sure you can afford to pay them their loan back. This will include a credit check which, in brief, will look at your financial history including other any other credit agreements you might have with other companies/ banks, any other loans you’ve taken out or are currently paying back and whether you’ve ever missed any payments before. They’ll also ask you how much you can afford to pay back each month so it’s worth considering this sensibly before speaking to an advisor so you’re prepared. That said, a mortgage advisor can help you work this out as buying property can be a daunting process for first timers as there’s so much to contemplate!
Once you’ve been approved for a mortgage and you have a better idea of your budget and what you can afford to buy – it’s time for the exciting bit, viewing some properties! It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of choice on the market and it’s easy to fall in love with the first house you view as the excitement of the situation can take over. However, the first property you see is unlikely to be the best or the right one for you (though it does happen!) To help you narrow down your search, it’s advisable to create yourself a list of things you consider important for your new home. Whether it’s garden space, the number of rooms and bedrooms, the area you’d like to live, what the local schools are like or how much decorating and re-furbishing you can afford…the list is endless! It’s also worth considering what type of windows and doors are currently installed at the property. Double or triple glazing with A-rated glass can help dramatically decrease your energy bills by helping to keep the heat in and the cold out and high security locking mechanisms will help you feel secure in your new home. Psssh – you can find lots more information on A-rated glass, energy ratings and high security locks on our website at walkerswindows.com.
It’s also worth having a think about whether or not there is room for expanding the property with extra space in the form of an orangery or conservatory should you ever decide to build on the property in the future. Are the planning regulations that you will have to consider and is the building a listed property?
For more information on planning regulations and A-rated double glazing, visit our website at walkerwindows.com. If you’ve just moved in and you’re considering a new conservatory or orangery or updating your windows and doors, you can call us on 0800 849 2229 for a free no obligation quotation today.