Buying your first home is an exciting experience, but it can also be a daunting one. Preparation is the best way to combat concerns and ensure the excitement lasts.
Our top 10 questions to ask during the buying process will help you spot both dangers and opportunities, so don’t be afraid to ask them!
1. How much can I afford to borrow?
Your first mortgage application is as important as the property itself. Ask several independent advisers how much you can afford and get a ‘decision in principle’.
2. What’s the best deal for me?
The type of mortgage deal you choose can lock down rates, track the market or cut early repayment charges. Choose the deal that best suits your plans and budget, based on your research and independent advice.
3. Would I be happy here in the long term?
When you’re property hunting, don’t compromise on location just to get on the ladder. You have to live there, so make sure you explore your options.
4. Why are they selling?
Agents and sellers don’t have to answer, but you might find out they’re desperate to sell and be able to negotiate a better deal.
5. How long has it been on the market?
If it’s fresh, you may have to move quickly. If it’s been there over three months, you may need to look at what’s holding the sale back and if it will affect your decision.
6. Can I look here?
Behind the furniture, under the rugs, in those high cupboards and under the stairs: anywhere cracks, damp and repairs could hide, you should look.
7. What’s the area like?
Getting tips on local amenities is great and you should also find out about the neighbours too.
8. Which survey do I need?
A home survey is vital to ensuring your new purchase is in solid shape. The type of survey you choose, however, will depend on the state of repair and your budget.
9. What’s included in the sale?
Fixtures, fittings and contents are often negotiable: make sure anything you have your heart set on is written into the contract.
10. Is my offer fair?
It can be tempting to put in a tactically low offer to take advantage of your flexibility as a first-time buyer, but beware that it could increase your chances of being gazumped.