Buying your first home is one of the most exciting times of your life, but can be equally as daunting. After all, your first home is likely the largest purchase of your life thus far, which can make the entire process immensely intimidating. At Centrick, we’ve helped thousands of first-time buyers make their way onto the property ladder with ease, and understand precisely what goes into a successful property sale – here’s our rundown of what is involved in buying your first home:
Before you start to search for your dream first home, it is vital that you establish a budget to determine what you can afford. This will help you understand what properties are feasible for you to purchase and can help streamline your search on property portals.
Thankfully for first-time buyers, there are plenty of schemes available to help make purchasing your first home easier and cheaper. Whether you’re looking for a property to purchase through shared ownership, or want to purchase a cheaper property under the first homes scheme, there are a variety of options available. You can find our comprehensive rundown of first-time buyers schemes here.
Similarly, you should have in mind which features you are non-negotiable on, and which features you can do without. Here are a few points worth considering:
Most first-time buyers will require a mortgage to afford their first home, which necessitates a mortgage in principle. This is a pledge from your mortgage lender that they are willing to lend you up to a certain amount of money for the purpose of purchasing your house – you won’t be able to place an offer on a house without one. Typically, first-time buyers will use a deposit of approximately 10% of the property’s value to secure their first house, and will require a mortgage to the value of 90% of their property’s agreed price.
However, some banks and building societies are able to provide mortgages of 95% loan to value, meaning that you could put an even smaller deposit down: for example, if your first home has a value of £200,000, you could get away with putting down a deposit as small as £10,000 and paying the remaining £190,000 through your mortgage.
Your estate agent will be your primary point of contact when it comes to securing your onward purchase – they will be able to provide you with tailored recommendations for properties that may interest you, and can arrange viewings to see these properties in-person. Once you have placed an offer on your first property and had this offer accepted, it’s time to consult with industry experts who will be able to ensure that your purchase is legally watertight and financially feasible. Once again, it is important to remain in close contact with the estate agent, as they are able to liaise with the seller of your property, as well as other parties such as solicitors, conveyancers and surveyors.
Solicitors and conveyancers are invaluable to first-time buyers – they can help you navigate the daunting property market by representing your best interests and ensuring that your property purchase runs as smoothly as possible. Your solicitor or conveyancer will be in regular contact with the representatives of the seller and will be able to draw up a contract of sale for you to sign so that you can legally purchase your property. They will also be able to pick up on any issues that may need addressing throughout the sales process.
Lastly, you will have to instruct a surveyor to check that your property is worth the value you are going to pay for it and whether it comes with any hidden risks such as structural damage or defects that could cost you plenty of money in the long run. You can request a basic condition report, a homebuyer survey or a structural survey to ensure that your first property purchase is as good as it looks! Depending on whether your property is a new build or resale home, your conveyancer and lender may require a certain type of survey to be carried out in order to release the funds for your purchase.
The next stage of your property journey is the most rewarding, because it is at this stage that ownership of the property in question is passed across to you. First comes the exchange of contracts between the seller and purchaser – this legally dedicates both parties to carrying out the sale of the property. A few days after the exchange of contracts comes the completion stage wherein the funds from the purchaser will be passed across to the seller, who will then provide the new owners with the keys to their property.
Voila! You’ve just successfully completed the purchase of your first home!
If you’re ready to take the leap towards purchasing your first property, Centrick has the tools to help you get there. With a range of properties for sale ranging from gorgeous new builds to characterful resale units, we are sure to have the right home for you.
Not ready to buy just yet? We’ve created the At Home With Centrick hub to assist home movers regardless of which stage in their property journey they may be at – with advice for budding first-time buyers, portfolio investors and downsizers, there’s something valuable to be found for everyone on the At Home with Centrick hub.
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