Buying a New Home

Buying your first home will always be an exciting time. After years of dreaming of taking your first steps on the property ladder, you’re finally in a position to grasp your own set of keys and get settled in the house you’ve always dreamed of. Once you’ve found homes for sale that completely capture your heart, that sense of excitement will only intensify.

However, the process of buying a home can quickly become overly-complicated for many young first-time buyers, with some becoming swept up in the wave of excitement and inevitably making damaging mistakes. Purchasing your first home will likely be one of the most important investments of your life, so these mistakes can quickly prove incredibly expensive and turn your homeowning dream into a complete nightmare.

These are the biggest mistakes to avoid when buying a new home, so that you can get your life as a homeowner off to the best possible start.

Failing to Set a Budget

Looking at properties you can’t afford is obviously an enormous waste of time, while it will also make you feel a little disappointed in the house you eventually end up with. The hardest part of buying a home is undoubtedly scraping together enough cash for a deposit, especially if you’re already renting and struggling to save much at a time.

On average, a deposit in the UK will cost you 10% of the value of the home, but in some cases you might need to come up with as much as 20%. For those using the Help to Buy scheme, however, you’ll need just a 5% deposit when purchasing a new-build, meaning you can either get on the ladder much quicker or get much cheaper mortgage rates.

Even once you’ve saved enough for the initial deposit, you also need to make absolutely certain that you can afford the monthly repayment rates. Of course, strict checks will be carried out during your mortgage application process, so you won’t be able to buy a home you can’t pay for, but it’s still useful for you to figure out what you can realistically afford before starting your property search.

Forgetting Additional Costs

When figuring out your budget, it’s absolutely vital you don’t forget about the additional costs involved with buying a home. Far too many first-time buyers focus so intently on saving for a deposit, they fail to consider the costs of homebuyer surveys, solicitors fees, buildings insurance and stamp duty, while the cost of actually furnishing the home can also prove expensive.

All of these things need to be taken into account when buying a home, and you also need to identify any hidden costs, such as maintenance and removal fees. A failure to consider these costs within your budget can soon turn into a financial disaster, and you’ll find yourself owning a property you just can’t afford.

Not Closely Inspecting the Property

The house viewing is your opportunity to examine the interior, check out the storage space and ultimately decide whether a certain home will meet your requirements. More importantly, this is your chance to identify any underlying problems with the property and ensure you aren’t making an incredibly bad investment.

While your eye will initially be drawn to the number of bedrooms and the size of the living space, it’s in the details where you’ll discover the true value of the home. Faulty electrics, cracked walls and missing roof tiles can all be a huge red flag, and you should also keep an eye out for problems with the gutters or any signs of damp.

Although most of these issues can eventually be fixed, you need to consider the cost of this maintenance when making an offer. Even if the seller has taken these costs into account and deducted them from the asking price, you still need to make absolutely certain you’ll be able to afford them.