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The top six issues that you may face

Buying a your first home is both exciting and daunting. Finding a house you love can be a great experience but the actual process of making it happen can feel overwhelming. So here are the top 6 problems you may face and what you can do to overcome them.

Problem one: I can’t afford the deposit
Solution: Save, save save.

Saving is hard to do, but if you can get into the practice of putting money aside regularly, you’ll be surprised how quickly it can mount up.

Look at all your outgoings and pair back what isn’t strictly neccessary and economise where you can.

Think about living with parents to save on how much you have to spend each month and finally, look at the different types of mortgages you can get along with maybe lowering your expectations on the kind of property you want to make your first home.

It’s worth looking for new build companies, as developers will often pay for eithar all or some of your deposit when you buy one of their homes.

Problem two: I can’t afford to buy a property
Solution: Think about changing your search location, buy with a friend or consider a shared ownership scheme.

Consider an area you can afford. You may need to think hard about where you want to ideally live, versus how much you want to buy a property. Sometimes, if you expand your search area by just a few miles, you can find that sweet spot that’s on the fringe of a ‘good area’ and in an affordable price range. The bonus of buying in these areas is that typically they will grow in value more than the area that you wanted to live in, making it possible one day to move to where you actually want to live.

You could buy with a friend or a colleague? You’re likely to be in the same postion so it makes it a good alternative if you can’t buy on your own. Make sure you both think about, and agree in writing with a legal company, what you’ll do if one of you wants to sell, if either party can’t afford the mortgage, if you fall out or if one of you becomes ill.

Shared ownership. You can look for properties where you can choose to buy from 25% to 50% of the property and ‘rent’ the rest. You are eligible if you are on a low, but steady income or are classed as a ‘key worker’.

Problem three: I can’t find a house I like
Solution: Be patient

When you’ve made the decision to buy, it can be hard to wait for the right property to come along because you’re raring to go, but it may take you a bit longer than you were hoping for. But don’t lose hope.

Have you thought about being proactive in your search? Talk to your local agents about the kind of properties you like so they can help search? At Giggs and Hone, we’re always talking to prospective vendors so we may have news of properties that haven’t come on to the market yet. Or, we can help you look at the property market in the area you want to buy in and see how often properties come up on that road.

Problem four: I don’t know where to start to get a mortgage
Solution: Find an independant mortgage broker

Independant mortgage brokers often have access to products you wouldn’t have been able to find yourself. They will advise you on affordability, the best way to structure your loan and the benefits of each product you might want to consider – but they’ll also look after your application from the point you start to the point you receive your mortgage offer and beyond!

We recomend talking to Assured Mortgage Advice as a place to start your journey.

Problem five: My offer was rejected
Solution: Don’t panic yourself into increasing the offer

Find out why they rejected your offer and what price they would accept, and then decide if you think it’s worth paying the extra. Or even if you can afford the extra! Think hard and be realistic about whether you can actually afford it.

You could ask your agent whether there has been lots of interest in the property to see whether it’s worth sticking with your original offer and even if there has been, let the agent know that you’re still interested and then start your search again. You never know what can happen in the future so keeping one eye on the property you offered on may be worth it.

Problem six: The survey says there’s some problems with the property.
Solution: Ask lots of questions

Most surveys will find some issue or other because alot of houses were built more than 50 years ago! So, just breathe and then find out:

  • How serious are the problems and do they need fixing now, or in the next five years?
  • Will the problems stop you from securing a mortgage?
  • What work is required?
  • Do you need to get any specialist surveys done eg timber and damp, electric, gas or structural?
  • How much will the costs be to fix the problems and does this mean you need to re-negotiate the value of the property?

We hope this advice has been useful. There is lots more guidance and advice we can give you. Just ask!