The property market is in an interesting phase at the moment. Having seen what can only be described as unprecedented growth over 2021, the average house price has smashed records at the outset of 2022.
This may be dismaying news for many hoping to get on the property ladder this year – but thankfully, it is still possible. What follows is a quick and abridged guide to buying a property for the first time, even in the current market.
Save for a deposit
Having a deposit saved up is vital to the house-buying process. Most mortgage providers will require you to front up at least 5% of the property’s value. Nothing happens without a deposit – so the sooner you save, the better!
Save for hidden costs
Have a clear understanding of all costs required to purchase your new property. These hidden costs can include property survey costs, solicitors fees, and if you are lucky enough to afford a house in that price bracket, there could be Stamp Duty fees to pay.
You can read this article on the hidden costs of buying a house to avoid any nasty surprises should you find your dream home.
Improve your credit score
When applying for a mortgage, you will be vetted against several criteria, one important factor being your credit score. If you have a poor history of repaying debts – or even no history – you may not be accepted for a mortgage by any providers. There are simple ways to rectify this, though. If you have no credit history, taking out a credit card and using it sparingly can help. Poor credit history can be made good by paying off old debts.
Go in with friends
If even the smallest of properties prove to be outside your budget, why not pool resources with friends the same way you might rent together? Looking as a group for semi-detached houses for sale, as opposed to looking for one-bed apartments alone, can mean you get more space for less money – plus, you’ll find it easier to make the deposit.
Don’t rush into a purchase
Lastly, a bit of advice that could save you a lot of time and money in the long term: do not rush a house purchase. You can take several useful steps before registering an interest and signing a contract – one of which is a property survey.
Professional surveyors will examine the property from top to bottom for anything that may not have come up in the initial valuation, from damp to subsidence and other structural issues. At best, these can be easily fixed and even bring down the asking price. At worst, they could reveal a structural problem that is more expensive to solve than you can afford. But in the latter case, you can start looking again.
Happy house hunting!