FIRST TIME BUYER Q & A
When buying your first home, we know it can be a daunting process with lots of big decisions. We also know that there are lots of questions that you seem to just be expected to know. Often, we go to family and friends to help with this process. In this instance, my brother Josh and his partner are currently looking to buy their first home, so we did a Q & A with them to help any other first home buyers who might have those same questions.
When is the right time to buy a house?
Firstly, this will really come down to your personal circumstances. The market will always have peaks and troughs, but generally, the market stays at a steady supply and demand balance. You should be confident with your ability to buy financially, make sure you have spoken to an independent mortgage advisor to understand your affordability. If you are buying with a partner, make sure you sit down and go through exactly what buying a house will entail.
What should we not do, what are the usual mistakes?
Take advice from both your mortgage advisor and your solicitor. Have a survey carried out to ensure that you are aware if any work is to be done to the property and that this can be budgeted for when you move in. Also, try not to be too influenced by third parties, make decisions based on what feels right for you as the buyer and what you feel comfortable with.
What checks need to be done, who does them, do I organise them?
When applying for your mortgage, the mortgage company will organise for a surveyor to visit the property and carry out a mortgage valuation. This assures your lender and you that the price you are paying for the property is accurate to the market value. At this stage, you can decide to have a more in depth ‘Home Buyers Report’ which is a more detailed survey.
Your solicitor will also instruct necessary water, drainage, and local authority searches during the conveyancing process. These form part of the legal contract; your solicitor can give you more detail on what exactly these searches entail.
What questions should I be asking the seller?
Ask questions that matter to you, as buyers. Remember, your solicitor will ask all of the legal questions, so think of the practical things. Do you work from home, do you need good internet connection? Or maybe you want to know what the neighbours are like?
What can I expect from an estate agent?
Although the agent is acting on behalf of the seller, they are there to guide your through the process and explain what you need to be doing, They should prompt you throughout the purchase if there is anything you need to do. If you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask. The agent is there as an intermediary between buyer and seller, use them the best you can.
Do I need a mortgage offer to go and view a home?
You don’t need this to view a home, but we would strongly advise that you don’t start viewing houses until you have spoken to a mortgage advisor and discuss your eligibility and affordability to buy property. It means you can keep your search focused and should you fall in love with a property, you can offer with confidence knowing you can proceed. Agents will ask for your mortgage agreement in principle when you make an acceptable offer, so it always best to have this first.
Is it a bad sign that the house has been on the market for a long time?
Not necessarily. There can many different reasons why a property takes longer to sell than others. Have a conversation with the agent about your concerns, hopefully they will be able to explain the reasons and alleviate any concerns.
How was the asking price arrived at?
The asking price is decided on several factors. These include supply and demand, recently sold, local comparable properties along with the needs of the vendors. If you would like to discuss a specific property and how the price was arrived at, ask the agent to give you some background on the valuers thoughts.
Blog by Paige McNaughton MNAEA & MARLA