5 Things Every First Time Homebuyer Should Know
The idea of owning your very own home is an exciting, but daunting thought. There is so much to think about before you even get to the point of making an offer.
For over 50 years, ASPC has enabled the house-hunting public to view properties for sale across the North East in just one, easy location. In that time, its member solicitor firms have assisted countless first time buyers to take their first steps on, and move up, the property ladder.
Our Chief Executive Lorna Coutts shares five vital pieces of information that anyone buying their first home should know.
Find a good solicitor
When you find the home that is meant for you, you’ll want a solicitor to guide you through the process. It makes sense to talk to a solicitor at the very start of the process. With up to date information on the local property market and a wealth of professional advice concerning the purchase of a home, consulting a legal professional, who has your best interest at heart, will stand you in very good stead. With a network of over 50 local solicitors, ASPC can put you in touch with a local expert, but it’s important that you choose the solicitor that’s right for you.
Save, save, save!
The initial sum needed to buy a home is, without doubt, one of the biggest stumbling blocks first time buyers face. Securing a mortgage deal that is manageable within a monthly budget can mean large deposits and particularly popular areas in the North East may require you to go in above the asking price – an extra expenditure which, unfortunately, cannot be bundled in with your mortgage. Speak to mortgage providers at the very start of the process. They will not only go through the best deals with you, but also help you figure out what you can feasibly afford, as well as what you should be saving. Speaking of which…
The 28% Rule
Your mortgage payment will, usually, become the largest amount of money to come out of your bank account each month. So it makes sense to have a good grasp of what you can afford before you start looking at homes. The 28% rule provides a good guide whereby your monthly mortgage payments do not exceed 28% of your monthly income. This will give you a good starting point in knowing what you can afford.
Navigating the fees
Legal fees, VAT, LBTT – they’re all the necessary costs that come with buying a home that first time buyers might not always be prepared for. By speaking to a trustworthy solicitor early in the process, they can break down everything you’ll need to pay, so that you don’t end up with hidden extras and surprises down the line. You should be enjoying your new home, not worrying about the additional costs it brings.
Improve your credit rating
Mortgage lenders want to be sure that you can afford your monthly payments and you’ll stick to the payment schedule they set out for you. Your credit rating could mean the difference between moving into the home you really want, or significantly lowering your expectations to buy a home that you can get a mortgage on. There are a number of things you can do to improve your credit score that you may not have considered before. Make sure you’re registered to vote at your current address. Apply for a credit card, spend modestly, and pay off the full balance each month. These are all good indicators that you are a trustworthy borrower.
These tips give just a taste of the valuable knowledge and advice that you can tap into when you use an ASPC member firm for everything property related. Extending this service even further, ASPC are hosting the next in our series of ‘ask the expert’ events, to be streamed live from our Property Centre at 40 Chapel Street, Aberdeen.
This event which speaks specifically to first time buyers has now taken place. It featured informative and interactive talks from Chris Hay, Financial Advisor at Ledingham Chalmers Financial; Kathryn Murdoch, Associate at Burnett & Reid Solicitors and Andrew Sykes, Partner at Shepherds Chartered Surveyors.
The webinar recording can be viewed below.