Five Common Mistakes when Buying
Overspending or overcommitting before you even move in
First-timers are all about saving the deposit, which is great, but it’s not the only large wedge you’ll part with. There’s also removal costs, mortgage arrangement fees, valuations, surveys, Stamp Duty and new furniture. You need a contingency fund and to make sure that every foreseeable expense is accounted for. Additionally, avoid borrowing too much – even an extra £100 each month could mean no gym or no holidays for a long time.
Being naïve and not assertive enough
Research, research, research. Knowing what you’re doing – or at least having an idea – makes the process easier. Having realistic expectations is also vital, so you’re not disappointed when you realise you’re not going to leave home and buy your penthouse.
Find out about the area – what are the price trends? Does the leafy street become a rat-run every morning? Have a good look at the postcode on house price sites to see if the price is reasonable.
Ignoring structural surveys
With older properties, these surveys are expensive, but vital. You need to know if you’ll be spending lots of money annually to maintain the property. Failing a survey can also mean your mortgage provider or insurer pulls out. Saving on a survey is a false economy.
Following your heart
It’s a home, but it’s also an investment. Eventually you’ll sell and paying over the odds on property, or buying a home that’ll be hard to sell in future is a loss. When you look at a property, find out if there are any development plans nearby that could affect the future value.
Only using the internet
Just searching online isn’t enough. Talk to a good estate agent, as well as a mortgage adviser. A decent agent may tip you off about a property that hasn’t gone “live” yet and a mortgage advisor may be able to tell you about products that didn’t show up on an online generator.