Buying a property is one of the biggest purchases of your life. Here at Seymours Estate Agents, it’s our aim to make your property journey as smooth as possible so we’ve compiled a list of common tips and tricks to help give you a clear idea of potential expenses and complications during the process.
1. Work out the true cost of buying
Don’t let the seemingly complicated and costly process of buying a home put you off. We’ve compiled a short list of what to factor in to avoid the most common unexpected expenses:
a. Expect to pay an arrangement fee to your mortgage lender - £1,000 is typical.
b. Lenders also charge to carry out their own valuation, checking the property exists and offers sufficient security for the loan - £300 is typical.
c. If your property costs more than £125,000 expect to pay stamp duty – this is between 2% and 10% depending on the property value.
d. Legal fees – this can vary but is typically anywhere between £500 and £800.
e. Budget for two or three surveys, as many people pay for surveys on properties that fall through – £400 to £700 each is typical.
f. Removal costs – check with a few local companies to gauge a price range.
g. You are likely to want to change and add to the work done by the previous owners. Budget higher rather than lower for this.
h. Furniture, fixtures, and fittings are a large cost that many buyers overlook. Keep this in mind when viewing different properties.
2. Arrange a Mortgage in Principle
A Mortgage in Principle (MIP) lets you know how much you can borrow, subject to finding a suitable property in specific time before your official mortgage is granted. Although proof of deposit and MIP can give you a big advantage when putting in an offer, always bear in mind that MIPs give absolutely no guarantees.
3. Explore the neighborhood Ask anyone who has gone through the property buying process, they will all tell you that the right location for you is crucial. Be sure to explore the neighborhood on foot; well maintained and clean cars, graffiti, and local shops are all useful clues as to what an area is like. Don’t be shy to knock on neighbors’ doors to collect their insider knowledge.
4. View at different times of day
Neighbourhoods can transform at different times of the day. We recommend going along at least three times to get a true appreciation for an area; listen for loud music, busy traffic, or noise from local schools.
5. Have a list of deal-breakers
Don’t waste money on a survey only to discover basic problems. Here are some easy common issues to look out for:
a. Damp – check cupboards, wallpaper, and condensation on windows.
b. Cracks/stains in ceilings – is there any indication of a leak?
c. Doors and windows – check doors, windows and cupboards are working.
d. Switches – wiring work can be costly, check switches and unused power points.
e. Check plumbing – flush toilets and check cupboards under sinks are dry.
f. Lift mats and rugs – check for stains and leaks.
g. Check phone signal
h. Check the attic – look for insulation and leaks.
i. Outside walls – are there cracks, mold or rotten wood?
j. Check roof, gutters – check for missing/broken tiles. If possible, visit when it’s raining to check guttering.
6. Don’t forget to ask the vendors these last-ditch questions before moving
a. Where’s the main stopcock (water)?
b. Where are the gas and electricity meters, and the thermostat?
c. What are the bin collection days?
d. Do they have any old paint tins for matching colours?
e. Do they have old manuals and instructions for electronics/kitchen appliances?
f. Where are the kitchen and bathroom tiles and fixtures from?
g. Who supplies energy, broadband and phone?
For more tips to help you in your property buying journey, read the full article here at: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/mortgages/house-buying-guide
Please note, any prices indicated in this article are for guidance purposes only.