Personal Finance: How to buy your first home

Taking that first step on the property ladder will be easier once all the preparation work is done - then you can enjoy the search for your dream home. Picture: Jane Barlow
Taking that first step on the property ladder will be easier once all the preparation work is done - then you can enjoy the search for your dream home. Picture: Jane Barlow
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DAVID Marshall, business manager at MOV8 Real Estate, gives advice on how to buy your first home.

1. Work out your finances

Look at what your current monthly outgoings are to get an idea of what sort of repayments will be affordable to you.

Remember to allow for things like buildings and contents insurance, which you probably won’t be paying if you’re currently renting.

You’ll also have to factor in costs associated with buying, like furniture, legal fees and land and buildings transaction tax (LBTT).

2. Seek advice

It’s worth speaking to an independent financial adviser (IFA) at this point because, as well as being able to help you with the financial planning, they can chat through your personal circumstances with you and scour the market to find you the best possible mortgage deal.

3. Think about the legal stuff

The next step is to speak to a solicitor estate agent.

In addition to being able to submit notes of interest, negotiate offers on properties and handle all of the legal work on your purchase, they should be able to give you invaluable advice on the local market.

4. Get hunting

With your solicitor estate agent in place, it’s time for the fun part – actually finding your dream home!

Most homes are advertised on websites like Rightmove and Zoopla. You can sign up to receive e-mail alerts for properties matching your criteria so as soon as a home comes on to the market that you might be interested in, you’ll know about it.

5. Additional perspective

When viewing properties, it’s worth taking someone along with you for a second opinion. Once you find somewhere you’re really interested in, be sure to go back for a second viewing, preferably at a different time of day, so you get a feel for the property and the neighbourhood.

6. Make an offer

Your solicitor will do this for you. A good solicitor estate agent will be helping people to negotiate purchases every day, meaning they’ll have their finger on the pulse of the market and be able to guide you on how much you should bid.

If all goes well and your offer is accepted, all that’s left to do is finalise your mortgage with your IFA and have your solicitor complete the legal side of things.

With that done you just need to pick up your keys and get ready to move into your new home.

• David Marshall is business manager at MOV8 Real Estate.