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Property Advice March 14, 2016

Tips for First Time House Buyers

Buying a house is one of the biggest expenses you’ll ever have. If you’re just starting out, you’ll also probably spend the next 25 years or so paying for it. In that light, it’s vital you get it right. At Enfields estate agents in Pontefract, we can advise on all aspects of the buying process as well as helping you locate your ideal house, but here are a few of our best tips to get you started:

  1. Get Your Finances in Place

We can’t stress this enough. As soon as you decide to enter the house market, visit the bank, building society or any other mortgage lender and secure an offer in principle. You’ll still have to go through the process of getting the loan approved once you find a house you like, but both sellers and estate agents will take you more seriously when you can put money on the table up front.

If you’re selling at the same time by all means start looking round for potential properties, but give most of your attention to getting an offer on your own place before you start making offers yourself. Being in a position to proceed will save you some stress and get things moving faster.

  1. Stick to Your Budget

You’ll have a good idea about what your finances can stretch to, but it’s easy to just add another thousand if your searches aren’t turning up the ideal house.

Maybe you could stretch a bit further at a pinch but if you’re creating a future long-term struggle for yourself, it’s a mistake. Sacrificing one night out a week is one thing, sacrificing every night out so you can pay the mortgage quickly gets stale.

Have an absolute top price and don’t go above it. If you fall in love with a house that’s just a little over budget, it might be possible to negotiate a lower price on terms that are acceptable to both parties.

  1. Be Picky About Location

There’s an old saying about buying the worst house in the best location. You can change the way a house looks through refurbishment and decoration, but you can’t pick it up and move it elsewhere.

Location is everything. When you’re viewing houses, try to see further than how the current owner has their furniture arranged. It doesn’t matter whether you like their choice of wallpaper, what matters more is whether you can visualise how you can change things to make it your own.

Moving to a new area can be hard when you don’t really know the best locations, which areas are up-coming, or where properties sell best. At Enfields, our expert local knowledge can help in this respect and we’d be delighted to advise you.

  1. Keep An Open Mind

Sometimes you get an idea of what you’re looking for and it’s hard to shift that dream notion. However, by being a bit flexible you can unearth more opportunities than a rigid search criterion will give you.

Having a checklist of your top features can help free you from restrictions rather than locking you down tighter. Build a checklist by identifying lifestyle priorities.

As an example, suppose three bedrooms are higher up the priority list than a big garden. If you restrict yourself to older semis in the suburbs you may miss out on a terrific new-build that’s a perfect match. Or, if long views are important but you need to live in town for work, look at flats as well as houses. Exploring the possibilities and investigating different types of property within your budget will not only give you a better idea of what’s out there, it will help cement your own ideas about what you like and what you don’t.

House hunting is an exciting process. Enfields expert staff can make it even more so by helping you locate great houses at great prices, in the right locations and that tick all your boxes.




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