So today I would like to discuss first time buyers and my top five tips.
Tip 1 - Get yourself prepared.
First of all, get yourself prepared and see a mortgage broker early on in the process. They'll be able to talk you through how much you can borrow, realistic budgets and look at your monthly payments, making sure it's affordable to you. And they will be able to get you an agreement in principle. An agreement in principle is a certificate after you've had a credit and affordability cheque done, and you'll need this to put an offer forward with estate agents. They'll also be able to talk you through solicitors. So another one is to get solicitors prepared and know which ones you're going to use once you have an offer accepted. This will make the process a lot quicker once you have that offer accepted on the property. Your broker will also go through your process, the whole house buying process with you so that you understand exactly what's going to happen when, what money you have to have prepared and when you need to have it prepared for.
Tip 2 - Make a budget plan.
Make sure you complete a thorough budget plan. This, again, might be with your broker, but even do one at home by yourself. So just make sure that you fully understand exactly what you going to have to pay for. All the bills, council tax, gas, electric, water, those sorts of things are all going be taken into account and make sure that you have a comfortable monthly payment for your mortgage.
Tip 3 - Prepare your deposit.
So your deposit is going to be scrutinised exactly where it's come from, so this might be savings. So just make sure it's all in the bank, make sure that you've got statements to prove where that money has come from. This might be money from a gift, for example, from parents or other family members. Make sure the money is sitting in their account. A big one is a lot of people try and get cash. So when putting cash in the bank, you need to prove where that money has come from. So just make sure that the money is in the bank account and you can prove where every penny of your deposit is coming from because it will be checked by your solicitor and the lender.
Tip 4 - Start getting your documents ready.
So again, once you've had an offer accepted, your broker is going to ask you for different documents, things like ID, payslips, bank statements, make sure you've got them all ready. A lot of these things are available online now, so are quite easily and readily available, but sometimes they're not. So if they're not, make sure you've got them prepared, ready to go so that you can start your mortgage application as quickly as you possibly can, after the offer is accepted.
Tip 5 - Start looking at houses.
And don't just choose the first one that you see. Have a look at plenty, start to understand exactly what you like in a house and what you don't like in a house. Make sure you start registering with local estate agents, tell them what you want and what you're looking for, so that when the right property does come along, you know that it is the right one. You can make an offer, put it forward and you can be at the front of the queue.
So they are my top five tips for first time buyers. If you have any questions or would like to find out more about our first time buyer services, please contact us.