How To Buy A House
Buying a house is probably the biggest purchase you'll ever make – so we've enlisted the help of estate agent Ed Mead and Property Developer Tina Jesson to tell you all the tricks of the trade which will make your next house purchase run smoothly.
Step 1: Financing
Generally unless you're a multi millionaire you won't pay cash for a house. You will need to get a down payment ready and borrow money on top of that.
Ed Mead says that it is very important to have a mortgage offer in principle, so that your estate agent will take you seriously when showing you properties and place you in the front of the queue.
The money you borrow from a bank or building society is called a mortgage. To find out what you can afford it may be worth speaking to an independent financial advisor or a mortgage lender. You'll also incur other costs.
Stamp duty should be taken into consideration as well as solicitor's fees and moving costs.
Step 2: Buying on a budget
Once you have worked out how much your down-payment is and how large a mortgage you can get you can start to work out what you can afford. Essentially the two key factors in buying a property are size and location, a combination of these will let you know what your budget will stretch to.
The size of property you buy will be dependent on the cost. Your estate agent will advise you as to what you can afford.
Step 3: Size
Size does matter to most people. Generally there are two ways to find the size of property that you want. Properties are described by the number of bedrooms they have and their surface area, by square feet or square metres.
Step 4: Location
The location of a property is also important when making a decision to buy. Different areas are seen to be nicer than others due to travel links, quality of schools and other factors.
Tina Jesson says it is better to buy a rundown house in a good neighbourhood as this will allow you to maximise the return on your investment.
You will get more for your money in a less popular area – however getting the right balance is essential. It is also possible to try and buy in an area that is up and coming, if the area becomes more popular due to new facilities, transport links or developments it will mean the value of your property rises accordingly.
Look for skips outside buildings as an indicator of new money coming in. New shops and cafes on the high street are a good sign too.
Step 5: Finding a property
Once you've decided on your budget, property size and location it's worth getting in touch with estate agents. Most property is sold through estate agents who take commission from the property vendor.
It is important to find a good estate agent so go and see a lot of them. Hopefully, you will find one you get on well with.
Step 6: Viewing a property
It may be worth looking at the property details first in terms as estate agents may take you to properties that they want to sell but don't meet many of your criteria.
Estate agents believe buyers are liars and usually have a bigger budget than they let on. This means they will often show you places outside of your budget.
Having given your details to an estate agent, they will then contact you when they have found a suitable property for you. They will arrange a time so you can go and look at the property. Be prepared to look at a number of properties before you find the one you want. Be aware of what you should be looking for when you view.
Ask the seller questions that your estate agent may avoid, such as if they have noisy neighbours.
Step 7: Making an offer
When you have decided on the property of your choice it is time to make an offer on it. You do this via the estate agent who then passes your offer onto their client. Your offer should not necessarily meet the asking price, but if you go too low the offer may be rejected.
Step 8: Doing the deal
Once your offer has been accepted, you will need to appoint a solicitor, sign and exchange contracts and transfer the money across before the property is legally yours. But don't worry – th