Speak to your Mortgage advisor or bank
One of the first things a first time buyer should do is, seek advice from your mortgage advisor or bank. Your mortgage advisor or banks can advice on your affordability for purchasing your property. It is important to be realistic or else affording repayments can become a problem. Unfortunately the amount of deposit required to purchase a property has increased during the market crisis and a first-time buyer may need more than ten per cent of the total property value as deposit. This is in addition to miscellaneous costs to cover legal fees, stamp duty and surveyor costs. This can be anywhere from £2,000 to £5,000.
Find out your credit rating
It is commonly known that lenders have become more cautious in their approach to approving new mortgage applications. It is more important today to ensure you have a good credit rating in order for your mortgage application to be accepted. Your mortgage advisor or bank can help you check your credit rating. Alternatively it is quite easy to check your credit history and rating yourself by using one of the many services such as Experian or Equifax. Most such services also provide you with information on how you could improve your credit history if it’s not good.
Get a provisional Mortgage offer in principle
A buyer who has already secured a mortgage in principle is in a much stronger position to negotiate and could be at an advantage should they be competing with other potential buyers. An offer in principle will also reduce the chance of disappointment further down the line, providing a much stronger chance of successfully buying a home of choice.
Never complete a deal without a professional surveyor’s report
It is highly recommended that you should get the property surveyed by a professional surveyor. The surveyor should be independent. The property survey is essential as it provides you with detailed information on the quality of the property and will save you from unexpected repair or maintenance expenses. If you are buying a new property then this may not be relevant as all new homes are typically covered under a ten-year warrantee.
Read the Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ) and Home Information Pack in detail
The government has recently introduced the mandatory home information pack for all properties sold in the UK. The property information questionnaire is part of the Home Information Pack (HIP). By law all properties being sold in the UK should contain a property information questionnaire (PIQ). The PIQ provides detailed information on the property’s history. The PIQ will also include information if any damages to the property have been caused due to flood or fire, parking allocations, and any other fees such ground rent, etc. The law provides all property buyers with a right to obtain this information prior to making a decision to purchase. You should make sure these documents are made available to you well in advance.