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Keys in a lock

Eight things to remember when buying a house

Friday March 8, 2024

Are you considering leaping into homeownership? Navigating the real estate market as a first-time home buyer can be an overwhelming experience, with so many variables at play. 

Regardless of whether you’re buying a cosy first home or investing in a sprawling country estate, the process demands thorough preparation and a keen eye for details. To bring clarity to this momentous decision, here are eight vital tips to guide you through your home-buying venture.

1. Start by Building Your Dream Home Parameters

Before you book any viewings or speak with a mortgage advisor, it’s essential to have a clear vision of what your ideal home looks like. Sit down and list your must-haves and deal-breakers. Consider factors like location, size, style, amenities, and future potential. This ‘wish list’ will be a reference point throughout your property search, ensuring that you’re focusing on realistic options. Remember, while it’s great to have dreams, it’s even better to know which ones are feasible and how much they might cost.

2. Get Your Finances in Order

One of the most critical steps in the home-buying process is getting your finances in prime condition. This involves checking your credit score, which will heavily influence your mortgage eligibility and rates. Make sure you have a decent savings fund and reduce any existing debts as much as possible. Additionally, speak with a mortgage advisor to gain a solid understanding of how much you can afford and what your up-front costs are likely to be.

3. Explore Mortgage Options

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to mortgages. There are various types, such as fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable-rate mortgages, VA loans, and FHA loans, each with its own set of benefits and considerations. Research each type to decide which is best suited to your financial situation and homeownership goals. It’s advisable to get pre-approved for a mortgage before you start house hunting as this gives you a realistic budget to work with.

4. Location, Location, Location

The importance of location cannot be overstated. Your home’s proximity to work, schools, amenities, and safety can impact your quality of life significantly. Think about your commute and the potential resale value of the property in the future. A good location might even mean considering properties slightly outside your initial search radius if they offer substantial benefits. Remember, you’re not just buying a house; you’re buying into a neighbourhood and a lifestyle.

5. Hire a Reputable Estate Agent

A skilled estate agent is invaluable when it comes to guiding you through the myriad of choices in the market. They have the experience to evaluate properties against your wish list and can provide valuable insight into the negotiation and closing process. Ensure your agent is licensed, respected, and has experience in the type of property and locations you’re interested in. The right agent will be your advocate from the first property viewing to the closing table.

6. Invest in a Thorough Home Inspection

Even if a property looks pristine, unseen issues could be lurking beneath the surface. A comprehensive home inspection is vital to uncover any potential hazards or major maintenance problems, such as mould, faulty wiring, or structural issues. While the cost of an inspection can vary depending on the property’s size and location, it is a small investment that can save you from significant headaches down the line.

7. Understand the Closing Process

The period between an accepted offer and the closing date can be one of the most overwhelming in the home-buying process. During this time, it’s crucial to stay in close communication with your real estate agent, mortgage lender, and, if applicable, your attorney. The closing process can involve a lot of paperwork, so be prepared for this final step and understand what is required. Make sure you schedule time off work as it usually requires several hours to complete.

8. Secure a Dependable Conveyancer

A conveyancer or conveyancing solicitor handles the legal transfer of property from the seller to the buyer. They ensure that you are registered as the new owner and that the terms of the contract are fulfilled. At this stage, the conveyancer will conduct various searches and inquiries to protect you from buying a property with potential legal liabilities. It’s often the least used tip, but one of the most crucial. A reliable conveyancer can make or break a smooth settlement process for your new home.

Buying a house is one of the most significant investments most of us will make in our lifetimes. It’s a process that’s both exciting and daunting but the conveyancing solicitors at CWC are on hand to guide you through the process. Contact our team regarding your house sale today.

From preparing finances to finding the perfect location and securing a dependable conveyancer, learn how to smoothly buy your dream home.