First time buyers

So, you’ve got your deposit, mortgage agreed in principle and now it’s time to hit Rightmove and choose your very first home. If you’re looking in High Wycombe, this will mean sifting through in excess of 200 apartments; apartment Tinder. But, do you swipe left or right? Do you judge an apartment on its good looks or follow your head and look for guarantees and stability? Purpose built or conversion, close to town or tucked away? Then there’s the hot little number that’s just come to the market tempting you with free furniture packs, money off and incentives…#confused

First Time Buyers are truly spoilt for choice locally, with something for every property palate. From the elegant grandeur of the park facing mansion apartments, to the slick, ultra-modern town centre high rises with their high-gloss and underfloor heating. The most important thing for a first time buyer to do is work out their main priority for their first purchase. You don’t want to pay for a feature that doesn’t matter to you; for instance, properties close to the train station will be priced higher, but if you don’t commute yourself, look slightly further out and you may find better value for your money.

A new build is not the only way to get on the ladder. The government’s Help To Buy scheme can supplement your deposit by up to 20% of the value of the property you’re buying; but this isn’t for everyone. Assuming you have a 5% deposit, there are still some great mortgages out there which can get you your first pad.

New build properties are abundant at the moment and developers are offering some fantastic incentives for the first time buyer. Keep your costs down with a contribution to your legal fees, or buy your flat complete with furniture pack so that moving day is a simple case of unlocking your door and pouring your first glass of fizz with that sense of luxury.

If you’re looking for space and something you can put your own stamp on, look at second hand properties. These will be marketed without an additional price tag that new build properties have. If some updating is required, you will hopefully then be able to improve your investment. Remember, 2nd hand doesn’t have to mean old; there are a huge number of properties that are less than 5 years old and have all the benefits of being nearly new. Many of these will also still be under warranty, which gives you extra peace of mind.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions of your estate agent; they’re there to help you. Does the property come with a warranty? Can I choose the finish? When will I be likely to be able to move in? If it’s a second hand property, what are the vendors’ plans for their move? Would they be open to offers? If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. Get to know your agent, and let them get to know you. If they have a good idea of your wants/needs, they’ll be able to recommend properties to you a lot more accurately, which will save you time.

Lastly, let the professionals work for you, speak to a mortgage broker who has access to all lenders. Most brokers will be able to compare all major lenders against each other and will likely have access to offers not accessible to you as a member of the public. Don’t just rely on your own bank; most brokers offer a free initial consultation, so take advantage and let them do the homework for you! It’s important to have a clear idea of your finances and mortgage options before you start viewing properties, that way, you wont waste your time looking at properties you can’t stretch to, or that might be below what you can look to spend.

When you’ve found the right place, you’ll know.