Buying your first home seems like a distant dream for most people. Rising prices and low wages mean that it’s so hard to put together the deposit that you need. But even if you manage to make it over that hurdle, you’ve still got to navigate the long and confusing process of buying a house. There are a lot of things that you can get wrong along the way which you can’t really afford to do. You’re going to be putting all of the money that you have into this house and if you make a mistake, there’s no going back. It’ll be a long time before you can afford to move again so you’ll be stuck with a bad house. If you’re going to avoid that, you need to know what could go wrong and how to avoid it. These are the most common mistakes that first-time homeowners make.
Not Knowing The Process
You can make a big mistake before you’ve even started if you don’t understand the process properly. There are a lot of different steps you need to take when you buy a house, you can’t just see a mortgage provider, get the money that you need and then make an offer, there’s a lot of different bits that you need to sort out in between. Often, there are extra costs involved with these other steps and if you don’t account for them, you might struggle to pay for everything. Before you start looking for houses, check out this list of all of the steps involved with the house buying process. It’s important that you familiarise yourself with the entire process before you dive in so there aren’t any surprises further down the line.
Borrowing More Than You Need
When you go to a mortgage provider, they’ll look over your finances and tell you what they’re willing to lend you. It might be tempting to just take the full amount and get the biggest house that you can afford for it, but that’s never a good idea. Often, the full amount that they’ll lend you isn’t really affordable once you factor in all of your other expenses. You’ll be able to cover your mortgage payments but you’ll be left with next to nothing afterwards. You need to make sure that you can afford to pay the mortgage and still have enough left to put a bit into savings and enjoy yourself with. That’s why it’s best to have a look at some property before going to see a mortgage provider. Then you can get an idea of what kind of space that you need and roughly how much it’s going to cost you, then you can just borrow what you need without being tempted to take more than you can afford.
Not Having A Survey Done
When you’re looking around a house, you’ll have your eyes open for any potential problems. If you notice mold on the wall or a big hole in the roof, for example, you’re not going to buy that house. But the thing is, sellers will cover up those problems before showing the house and there are a lot of problems that you can’t see on the surface. If you buy a house that is riddled with issues that only make themselves known 6 months after you move in, you’ll be stuck paying out loads of money for repairs and that can land you in some serious financial trouble. That’s why it’s absolutely vital that you have a professional survey done before you make an offer on a house. They’ll be able to tell you whether there are any hidden issues with the house that are likely to be expensive. It’s important that you spend money on a proper surveyor and you go along with them to make sure that the survey is thorough. It’s a good chance for you to learn more about the potential issues so you know what to look out for when you’re looking around other houses.
Choosing The Wrong Neighbourhood
Finding an amazing house is important but it’s not the only thing to consider. If you find the perfect house but it’s in a dangerous area or it’s a long drive to get to work or the closest shop, that’s not a good property to buy. You’ve got to consider the resale value because, even though you’re going to stay there for a while, it’s likely that you’ll move again at some point. If the house is in a bad neighborhood, you may end up losing money on the house and that’s going to make it a lot harder to buy a new place.
When you’re looking at a property, do a bit of research into the surrounding area. See how far your commute will be to work, where the nearest shops are, whether there are any good schools nearby etc. You should also look at the house prices in the nearby area to see what the prices are like. If there are a lot of cheaper properties that have been on the market for a long while, that means the neighbourhood is probably falling out of fashion and in a few years, a lot of the amenities may disappear. Ideally, you want to find a neighbourhood that is on the way up so you can get a decent priced house that is likely to appreciate in value over the next couple of years.
Hope you found this post useful and if you have any other questions, feel free to leave a comment or DM/tweet me over at @rainingcakeblog.