Top tips for first time buyers

If you’re a first-time buyer wondering what you need to know, you’ve come to the right place. The manager of Oakwood Estate Agents Andy Loizou tells all about the process of buying your first home.

Can you tell us how the home buying process should start for first time buyers?
Our advice to first time buyers is to get a mortgage agreed in principle so that they know exactly how much they can borrow, they can arrange this via an independent mortgage broker or directly with their bank.  Once they know how much they can afford to spend they can start the fun part which is going out to view properties.
When do they need a surveyor and solicitor?
Once they have an offer accepted on a property they will need to appoint a solicitor.  They will also need to contact their broker/bank to finalise the mortgage and the mortgage lender will then arrange a mortgage valuation survey.  However we would advise buyers to also arrange their own independent survey.

Do they have to pay stamp duty?
First time buyers received some great news in the 2017 Autumn Budget. The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that from the 22nd November 2017, first time buyers would be eligible to receive tax relief on stamp duty land tax. First-time buyers purchasing their first home for £300,000 or less will pay no Stamp duty land tax. Where the purchase price is over £300,000 but does not exceed £500,000 they will pay 5% on the amount above £300,000.

Are there any any other costs of buying a home?
The main costs are solicitors’ fees, survey fees and stamp duty. First time buyers should also account for removal costs and furnishing their new home.  Having said that I remember buying my first home and moving in with just a bed only as I couldn’t afford to buy any other furniture.

Are there any government schemes that help first time buyers to get on to the property ladder?
Yes there is a help to buy scheme that was set up by the government, buyers can read more about this via the help to buy website

Location is everything. What should they look for? 
Deciding on where you want to live is of course one of the most important aspects of your property search. Where you choose to live depends not only on your budget but your personal preferences and priorities. For example, you may choose to search for a property located close to your parent’s home or in close to distance to friends.  It’s also very important to work out how long the commute to work will take, good transport links are key.

What is the best way to search to find a home?
Initially browsing on the internet can give buyers a sense of what’s on the market and what their budget can afford them.  Rightmove and Zoopla are two of the largest property portals and are a great place to start your property search.  However it’s important to register directly with all the local agents in your chosen area as pro-active agents will call/email you as soon as they have a suitable property on the market.  We would also recommend buyers to keep up to date on social media as agents like ourselves are always posting new properties and properties that are due to come on the market via our Instagram page.

first time buyersOakwood Estate AgentStoke Newington Estate Agent
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