Top 10 tips for first-time buyers
BUYING your first home? There's a lot to think about from
rising property prices and tougher lending rules to legal bills and
buying carpets and curtains. Shared ownership
expert ALAN BRADLEY, Head of Sales at Bromford, offers homehunters
his Top 10 Tips
Tip No 1 Start saving. You may already have a
nest-egg. If not, make a regular commitment to save as much as you
can sensibly afford and you may be surprised how quickly it mounts
up. With shared ownership, a typical first-time buyer deposit is
usually less than half what you'll be expected to pay for a
traditional open-market home. The amount depends on local property
prices and each buyer's finances but most put down £3,000-£5,000 as
a 5% deposit.
Tip No 2 Pay your bills on time. As a
first-time buyer, you'll have to prove your credit worthiness to
qualify for shared ownership and when applying for a mortgage.
Missed or late payments for credit cards and other household bills
can make a big difference to the success − or otherwise −
of your application.
Tip No 3 Cut back on those trips to Nando's and
Pizza Hut. Lenders expect a really detailed breakdown of your
monthly spending now that tougher lending
rules are in force. The aim, of course, is to make sure
that you can afford all your monthly payments, especially if −
as is forecast − interest rates start to rise later this year
or early in 2015.
Tip No 4 Get organised. That means making a
list of all the must-have features you want in your
new home. It means making sure that you have all the payslips,
household bills, bank statements and receipts that lenders will
want to see. It means staying on top of all the form filling,
letter writing and phone calls when you're buying a home.
Tip No 5 Location, location. Most buyers want
to live near family and friends − and shared ownership can
make that dream come true at a price that ordinary working people
can afford. But think carefully about the cost of your daily
journey to and from work. Is the home of your choice within walking
distance of a train station or major bus route? If you buy a home
there, can you manage with one car? It could save you £££s.
Tip No 6 Don't forget to budget for your
solicitor's bill, the cost of hiring a van or removal firm and the
expense of furnishing your new home. Try to keep back a contingency
fund because no matter how well you plan your finances you can
easily end up spending more than you planned.
Tip No 7 Watch out for special
incentives. Bromford and other housing providers sometimes
offer buyers free carpets with selected homes or other incentives
such as our recent cashback deal at Colliers Green (pictured
below). With the cost of carpeting or hard-flooring a typical
two-bed home at £1,500 or more, these special deals are well worth
having. My advice is to register for updates.
Tip No 8 Buying with Bromford? Choose a
solicitor who knows shared ownership. It makes life much easier and
we can probably recommend you to someone who we know will have
experience of helping first-time buyers through the buying
Tip No 9 Make friends with your new home sales
consultant. We're all here to help you at every stage of the
homebuying journey so make use of us and our expertise. You can
call us, email or stay in touch through Twitter or Facebook if you prefer.
Tip No 10 Keep saving. If you've been renting
from a private landlord, you'll probably find your monthly outlay is
lower with shared ownership. My advice is to put a little of
that saved spending into a household "piggybank" for rainy days.
Remember, you're a homeowner now. Your new home guarantee will cover you
for any major problems that could arise but you're responsible if,
for instance, your gutters or downpipes are blocked with leaves.
Oh, and don't forget to make sure you've got all the insurance
cover you need.
To find out more about low-cost home ownership and how it could
make YOUR property dream come true, call one of our expert advisors
on 0845 60 10 878 or register for
updates. You can also keep in touch by following us on Facebook and Twitter.
* This is an updated version of the Top Tips story that was
published on Thursday, August 14
15 August 2014