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What to Look Out For When Buying a New House



Buying a New House

Buying a new house is a heady and exciting life milestone, though also one of the more stressful experiences available to adults in the UK. There are a great many moving parts to buying a home, not all of which are patently obvious to the first-time buyer. What should you be looking out for when setting out to buy a home?

Budget and Affordability

The factor at the forefront of every buyer’s mind is price. Houses are expensive things, and compromises tend to need making when house-hunting as a result. Using your household income as a yardstick, how much can you reliably afford, and what are you likely to get agreed upon as a mortgage? Consider that stamp duty, legal fees and haulage will be costly, too.

Location and Neighbourhood

Geographical factors play into your budget, just as much as your budget plays into location. Tight budgets will, naturally, struggle in London – but even within reasonable catchment areas, there are geographical decisions to make, and to make carefully. For example, if you’re looking to start a family, you will want your new home to not only be near a school but also near a good one; transport links for non-drivers are also a crucial consideration.

Conversely, certain factors might make a house less enticing to you. With a young family in tow, you might want to avoid proximity to a main road or dual carriageway. Crime rates are also worth considering if only out of want to protect your belongings from potential burglary.

Legal and Logistics

The legal and logistical aspects to buying a home are unignorable. Conveyancers are a requirement for navigating the management of contracts, property surveys and due diligence – and they need to be chosen carefully. A good conveyancer is worth the money, as lesser legal staff might make extremely costly errors in the course of managing the purchase. Failure to discover a major structural issue or legal stricture could cost you thousands, and necessitate the opening of conveyancing negligence claims against the firm responsible.

Mortgage Options

Finally, there is no house purchase – at least, for the vast majority of buyers – without a mortgage. Indeed, the first thing that many prospective house buyers do, even before viewing their first properties, is to secure some form of mortgage. There are different ways of doing so. If your budget is a somewhat wide range, you might prefer to get a mortgage-in-principle. This involves the bank pre-approving you for a set maximum amount of money, allowing you flexibility in looking at different homes.

Whatever kind of mortgage you opt for, the amount you give towards a deposit can have profound implications for future costs – with mortgage rates expected to remain high for some time, high deposits and early repayment are preferable. There are, though, 0% mortgages that involve no initial deposit, removing a key financial barrier for first-time buyers. These are risky products to be treated with caution since rising interest can quickly put new buyers into negative equity.

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