Tips for First Time Buyers.
1) How to start.
How and where to start can often be a daunting task. There is advice everywhere and often contradicts each other.
Mum and dad, or other relative often “want” to help, however
can often (so I witness) take over the process and end up often telling you
what to do, rather then helping…
Firstly. You need to establish what you can afford.
Once you have discovered what you can afford, start looking on the market (not for something for you) but to get an idea of what your money can get you.
For example, here in Rayleigh, Essex (where Nest HQ is based) a 2 bedroom semi detached home is often around £300,000…. The cheapest usually being around the £270,000 mark. So, If you can only afford £250,000 a two bedroom property is not realistic.
So, this exercise is to help you understand what your money
Then, create a list of 10 things you would like within a property. BUDGET isn’t one of them. To give you an idea here is mine.
1) Three bedrooms
2) upstairs bathroom
3) two reception rooms
4) garden (min 40ft)
5) Parking (or potential for parking)
6) max 20 min walk to the station.
7) Lower side of Rayleigh (newer side)
8) Storage (or potential for)
9) not a cul-de-sac
10) potential to add a conservatory at a later date.
Its pretty simple stuff. All of which I created having seen properties within my price range. Now the rule is. IF you see a property online that has 5 out of 10. You must view it. If it has 7, then offer on it. Because you will never find the 10. But this list really does bring out what you feel is important in a property and is realistic to your budget.
Then. View everything that has 5+ of your points.
2) Who to talk to /who to ask for help
Your parents have most likely bought and sold property in the past. Asking parents for help here is really not a great idea. I have seen time and time again parents being counterproductive.
This is because, they often look at properties they would live in, in locations they would live in. The fact is they are at a different point in their life, often they can be overprotective which ultimately is counterproductive.
– Mortgage brokers.
You need to speak to a mortgage broker. I would 100% recommend speaking to more than one. DON’T sign up to anything until you have found something, do not commit to any “agreement in principle” or “decision in principle” or place any funds with the broker until you have found your property.
Before you start looking, I advise sitting with 2 maybe even 3 brokers, find out what deals they can offer, what the broker charges and what is going to be the best deal for you over the course of the 2 years. Often people look at the initial costs. I feel the best way to look at it is, if you are looking at a 2-year deal. Calculated 24 x payments, plus any costs like broker costs, survey costs, arrangement costs etc so you have a total balance over the total term… this will help you identify the best broker, and the best deal for you.
Do not trust the estate agents you view a property through, they are employed by the seller to get the very best price for the property you are viewing, if they are not. Then they are going against the terms in which they are employed therefor not working in their client’s interest, which is incredibly untrustworthy…. So why would you trust them?
Instead, you need a buying agent. An independent Estate Agent who has a buying agent service. This person will act on your best interest only, and will advise and help you along the process to secure you home, best of all they will negotiate the best price you on your purchase giving you the best chance to get a property at a great price.
As they act on your interest, they can advise on pricing, condition and negotiation, which arms you with all the knowledge and help you need to secure that property you love (as well as cutting through all the estate agent sales patter).
3) Where to look…
Naturally Rightmove.co.uk. if the first-place people go to look for a property, however places like Facebook marketing place are also a great place to look. Currently in Rayleigh, Essex (at the time of writing this blog) there is 100’s of listings on Facebook marketing.
Some will be agents using a portal to upload their listing, however there are a few private sales on there.
However, going back to the buying agent, and in the true style of location, location, location, it is best to tell an estate agent your criteria and allow them to book viewings for you, so you can turn up and take a look. Its an amazing way of looking at properties you may have previously rules out. Overall, I would appoint an agent to search for you.
This being said, if you don’t want the assistance of an agent, Rightmove, Zoopla, On the market and Facebook marketplace are the best places to look.
If you have any questions on anything above, or would like to discuss our buying agent service, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or 07964343342