Buying a new home is always going to be difficult. Given the current economic and housing market, costs are higher and sellers are increasingly cautious about losing value on their homes. New buyers also have to face up to high mortgages and a lack of options. Renting rather than buying has similarly become more common as people look to put up investing in a mortgage. Those that can find the right deal can benefit from a long term investment and the potential to generate future value from resales. When looking for a new home, buyers should look into:
1 – Competitive Pricing
Always spend a lot of time comparing prices and speaking to different agents. Work out the best mortgages on offer, and whether you will have to pay a fixed or flexible interest rate. Similarly, explore whether different banks and lending agencies will require a significant lump sum towards a property.
2 – The Local Area for a House
The value of a local area is crucial if you plan to stay in a property for a long time. Think about the nearest school for children, as well as any parks and shops. How dangerous might the roads be, and are there any potentially damaging local features like factories? How much noise can you expect on an average day, and are any parts of the local area due for redevelopment?
3 – Average Monthly Costs
You should be able to work out the average monthly costs for a property with the agent. These costs might include energy bills, as well as any parking permits, council tax and any other average bills. Costs also need to be combined with monthly budgets, while considering the average cost of living in a certain area.
4 – Repairs
You may need to invest further money into repairs and maintenance for a house. The benefits might be that you are able to resell the house or the mortgage further down the line for a better price. However, think carefully about how achievable these repairs actually are within your budget.
5 – Furnishings
Carefully look at the existing furnishings of a property, and consider whether they can be easily adjusted. How large are windows, and can any dressings be added? How much storage is there? Can a spare room be adapted for a baby or a child?
6 – Understand Legalities
Never commit to a housing contract without first agreeing details with a solicitor. Conveyancing processes should also be followed, and all contracts should be scrutinised before signing.
7 – Moves and Removal Costs
Think about how much it will cost to transport your possessions to a new location, and how easy it will be to install them. Is it worth scrapping or putting some items into storage before you move, especially if it is to a smaller place?
8 – Take Your Time
Don’t rush into a deal, even if the house seems ideal. Compare multiple choices before committing, and always seek advice if you’re unsure.
9 – Understand Closing Costs
You will most likely have to pay a number of closing costs for a property, which can include house inspections, agents fees, interest on a principal loan for a deposit, and any miscellaneous fees that the estate agent or seller decides are necessary to complete a purchase.
10 – Security
When deciding on a new home, think about the security measures in place. How secure is the house itself, and will it need any additional security systems. Is the area safe, and is there a Neighbourhood Watch scheme in place? How quickly can a security team be called out, and how much will additional features cost?
Guest Post – Martin Roche offering advice on buying a new home and tips when visiting a letting agents