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Welcome to this month’s latest property posts
The ABC’s of Buying a Property
When it comes to buying property, there is no shortage of advice to look through or consider. This is a good thing but as there is so much information, you may actually feel overwhelmed at times when you are looking to buy a property. It is often helpful to break information down into smaller pieces, because this allows you to consider what you really need to know from day one.
Many people like to consider a big decision with respect to an ABC notion, because if a decision can be broken down into three aspects, it makes a lot easier to come to a decision. There is clearly a lot of factors you need to take on board when looking to buy a property, but you’ll find that the following ABC gives you an ideal starting place to move forward from:
If you can follow this ABC when buying a property, you should find it easier to make the right decision with respect to buying a home.
There is a great deal to be said for getting as much assistance and guidance as you possibly can. Buying a home is the biggest decision you will make in your life. If this is the first time you are buying property, you want to be as informed as possible and even if you have bought property before, there are so many changes and updates to the property market and how people buy and sell, it always makes sense to get help from the professionals who operate in the property market every day.
A good example of the sort of professional you want on your side when buying property is a good estate agent. Local knowledge is essential when looking to find a home but you also want an estate agent that will listen to you and your needs. It is likely that you will certain criteria that you need to find for your home and a good estate agent will take these requests on board and make this the starting point of your house-buying plans.
Of course, there are other ways you can seek out assistance in buying a home. There are still Help To Buy schemes in operation in the UK with the Government providing backing for people saving for a deposit or buying a new property. Be sure to look for information on what is available to you.
There is also a great deal to be said for speaking with an independent mortgage advisor. This will give you a chance to go over your budget and help you find the loan that fits best with your needs and requirements. If you are buying your first home, you may not know how many different mortgages are available, and the first mortgage you get offered may not be the best for you. Working closely with an advisor that has access to a wide range of mortgages will increase your chances of finding the best option for your needs.
You’ll also find that asking friends or family members who have been through the home buying process to be good people to speak to. You want to prepare yourself for the house buying process as much as you can so finding out about people’s horror stories or successes in the market will help you be as informed as you can before making a decision.
Your budget is at the heart of everything you do in the property buying process, and this should be something you spend a lot of time and effort on. Make sure that you take steps to save up as much of a deposit as you can, that you have money available for the point when you buy a home and that you know what your finances can take with respect to making monthly payments for your mortgage.
An issue that many people have is that they take their mortgage costs on board but they often overlook all of the other monthly payments they need to make when owning a home. Yes, you may have worked out you can pay your mortgage but have you also taken your utility bills, council tax, TV licence, commuting costs, food and drink bills, clothing and entertainment costs into consideration. You’ll find that owning a home brings about a lot of responsibility and this means you need to make sure your budget is robust enough to handle a lot of expenses.
There is also the fact that there are a lot of up-front costs associated with buying a home. If your mortgage has been approved, you then have solicitor costs, the cost of reports associated with the purchase, you may have stamp duty charges to consider and then you have the cost of moving. This means home buyers need to have access to a lot of funds at the point of buying a home as well as being able to meet monthly payments.
You should also look into improving your credit score in advance of applying for a loan. Your credit score and rating will impact on the mortgage you are offered, so the more you can improve this rating, the better your chances will be of getting a good mortgage.
Choose a property
If you’ve got your budget and finances in place and you have received as much support as you can, you then have to choose a property and then pursue it. A lot of people have doubts and concerns about buying a home, and it is essential that people understand that there is no such thing as being 100% sure about buying a home. However, if you have undertaken your research and the home offers you all of the different features you require, there will come a time when you need to choose a property and the press on with an attempt to buy the property.
For many people, this is the hardest task and there is an argument to say that the C could stand for Close The Deal. There will always be a reason to have worries about a move, but anyone seriously looking for a home will have to step up and place an offer at some point.
While there is a lot to consider about buying a property, if you follow this ABC, you’ll find that you cover most of everything you need.
4 Questions To Ask Before Choosing An Estate Agent
No matter what move you are looking to make in the property market, the right Estate Agent will make a massive difference to the outcome. This is why it makes sense to take your time considering Estate Agents. There are many Estate Agents to choose from, and not all of these Estate Agents are the same. This means that one particular Estate Agent may be far more preferable to your needs and requirements than another Estate Agent.
You should carry out research and ask around for opinions of estate agents firms, particularly to narrow down your options initially, but one great way to form an opinion is to speak to them.
Most reliable and reputable estate agents will be happy to allocate time for a chat, allowing you to form an opinion on what they can do for you. It is likely that you will form a “gut feeling” on what an estate agent can offer you, which is a great starting point, but you also want to find out some details about the firm and what they can do to help you. Here are 4 questions to ask before choosing an Estate Agent:
What experience does the Agent have?
While the property market has evolved a lot of late, experience counts for a lot and ideally, you want this to be local experience. An estate agent with any experience is likely to be better than an agent with no experience but for your needs, you want an estate agent comfortable with the area you want to buy in and in working with the sort of property you are looking to buy or sell.
Feel free to ask them for testimonials or reviews of their work, as this will help you to form an opinion on whether this is the right estate agent for your needs.
What makes you different from other Estate Agents?
This is a pertinent question if there are many estate agents to choose from and you are struggling to find a factor that differentiates them. A firm that genuinely offers more or provides additional reasons to choose them will be quick to tell you of the benefits they provide when you hire them.
You will not find too many estate agents that are bashful about what they offer but when you are looking for factors that stands a good firm out from their peers and competitors, it is sometimes best to be blunt in your questioning.
Will you receive service from one person or the team?
This is an important question to ask and the answer you receive may sound better depending on your outlook or views on an estate agent service. Some people will prefer to deal with one professional at all times. This person may be more likely to be an expert in their field or area, and it should ensure that the person is fully informed of the process at all times.
However, if you only deal with one person, what happens if they fall ill or are off on holiday. This is why a lot of people would prefer the assurance of being dealt with by a team as opposed to a single person. You should think about this factor and decide what answer is best for your needs, and then see what the firm has to say about the service you will receive.
Are they members of a professional trade association?
While you hope there is no issue with the work undertaken by an estate agent, and if you take your time to find the best estate agent you can minimise the likelihood of something going wrong, there is a level of comfort to be found in an estate agent that is a member of professional trade association. When an agent is a member of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) or the Guild of Professional Estate Agents, there is a professional body you can turn to for support.
First of all, companies who hold this professional body status are expected to provide a set standard of service, which is a great starting point. You also know that if you would like to raise a complaint, there is a body and mechanism to do so. Hopefully you will not need to take this action but knowing that it is an option available to you should provide you with peace of mind when making a move in the property market.
If you ask these four questions, you should find information that will help you choose the best estate agent for your needs.