Now you’re confident about what you can afford, the exciting part can begin – hunting for your new home! 🏠 Finding the right property can take time, but you can get ahead by creating a shortlist of what’s important to you in a home. What are your wants and needs? Keep an open mind and remember your budget.
Factors to consider might include:
- Transport links – How close is the nearest train station or bus stop?
- Commute time – How long would it take you to get to and from your workplace? Is the cost of commuting from the property expensive or affordable? Do you have options if the trains aren’t working or your car breaks down?
- School catchment areas – If you need access to schools, either now or in the future, what are the options in the local area?
- Parking – If you need space to park, what are the facilities like? Are there any parking restrictions in the area?
- Neighbourhood feel – What’s the local crime rate?
- Outside space – Does the property have a balcony, patio or garden? If not, do you have access to a park or field nearby?
- Condition of the property – How much work would you need to do to the property – and is this within budget?
- Distance to local amenities – Where is the nearest doctors surgery and hospital? Are you near shops and restaurants?
Use websites such as Zoopla and Rightmove to research properties. When you’re viewing properties, make sure to ask the estate agent plenty of questions and see if you can go back for a second viewing at a different time of day to ensure it feels right. 🔎
Bid at auctions
Buying a property at auction is becoming increasingly common, but there are risks as well as benefits. If the thought of the hammer falling gives you a thrill, read up on the auction process and start browsing catalogues!
How to make an offer on a property
Once you’ve found a property you want to buy, make an offer that you’re comfortable with. Unless it’s a private sale, you’ll have to make the offer by speaking with the estate agent. You might want to add various conditions into your offer to give you peace of mind, for example, that your offer is subject to a satisfactory survey. From here, you can start negotiating.
Tips to make sure your offer is accepted
- Make a competitive offer that gives you room for negotiation if needed
- Tell the seller you have a Mortgage in Principle to show you’re a serious buyer
- Emphasise the fact you’re a first-time buyer, which shows that you can move quickly
Having an offer accepted is a fantastic milestone! Getting the seller to take the property off the market will decrease the risk of potential buyers swooping in to make a higher offer. This is called gazumping and unfortunately it’s legal. It’s important to note that your home purchase isn’t legally binding until you’ve exchanged contracts (see Step 9 – Exchange contracts). Either you or the seller can back out before this point without any serious legal or financial consequences.
🟠 Time for a check in!
- You’ve found a property you want to buy
- You’ve made an offer and it’s been accepted!
Moneybox Mortgage Advice is provided by Moneybox Mortgages Ltd.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.