Buying a house can be an exciting time, but it’s also stressful with so many decisions to make! And if you think buying in this market can be tough, you’re right – but it doesn’t have to be! In this article, we’ll walk you through some helpful tips that will help make buying a house in this market an easier process.
When you’re planning to put an offer on a home, having all your documents in order is key. Make sure you have: copies of your last 3 months most recent payslips; confirmation of employment; proof of identification, proof of address, proof of funds and ensure that you let your agent know of any debts or judgments against you (and records related to how you’ve resolved them).
A lot of properties are getting booked out with viewings within the first day or two of a property going live. Set up property alerts on Rightmove and Zoopla to ensure you notified the day a property comes to market and call the agent the same day. Don't wait until "tomorrow” as tomorrow could be too late.
Getting pre-approved by your bank will give you an idea of how much you can borrow, so that when it comes to looking at new homes, you’ll have an idea of what you can afford. Most agents won’t let you view properties unless you have an AIP (Agreement In Principle) also known as a MIP (Mortgage In Principle).
School catchments are an important consideration when you have a young family. Not only is location key, but it’s also important to research your neighbourhood’s schools to ensure you understand their progress 8 and attainment 8 scores before you move. Good schools are often attractive selling points and therefore will be in popular demand.
Location, location, location. Some cities are becoming more expensive by the day—but that doesn’t mean you have to break your budget to buy a home. Consider neighbourhoods within your preferred area and evaluate nearby amenities (shopping centres, pubs and restaurants, railway stations) as well as potential risks (flood-planes, nearby highway, high crime rates). And if you can’t physically visit an area during peak hours, Google Street View is often your best bet.
You will be in a much stronger position if your property is on the market. Get a reliable agent out to see what they feel your house is worth. This, along with your AIP / MIP, can help you understand how much you can spend on your next property. Putting your property on the market shows you're serious about moving.
You can also use instant online valuation tools which can give you a rough idea of what your home is worth in today's market. It is good to bear in mind that these tools are not able to take into consideration any cosmetic work you have done to the property including extensions or conversations.
Once you have viewed a property that you want to offer, do an assessment on what kind of maintenance is required. Work out how much you will need to spend on any renovations. Calculate how much your monthly costs are going to be for council tax, electricity bills, water bills, any ground rent and service charges etc.
Don’t rush into things. Think it through carefully—and don’t be afraid to hold off until conditions are right or until you feel good about taking on such a big financial commitment. Buying a house can be very stressful, however buying a house that is maximising your budget can be even more stressful. Think about what you can afford and don’t stretch yourself too much that you could get into financial trouble.
HS Homes of Solihull is a small independent estate agent based in Shirley, Solihull. If you are interested to know what your home is worth, call us on 0121 430 4448. Alternatively, click here to book a free market appraisal.
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