6 things any first time buyer needs to know

Posted: 23rd Aug 2019

If you're a first time buyer, it can be tricky to navigate the property landscape

There are numerous considerations to factor in, ranging from budget, agents and negotiations, yet to make your life easier, we've spoken to the experts at JMP Solicitors who explain exactly what you might need to consider...

1. Realistic budgets

If you're buying a property, a deposit (which is normally between 5 and 20 per cent of a property’s value) isn't the only cost you need to factor in.

There are also other initial expenses, including the valuation and surveyors fee, while there are additional parties who require paying; for instance, the lender and broker fees. There are then more fees associated with this, including the booking fee, arrangement fee and mortgage calculation fee.

Aim to save an additional £2,500 on top of your deposit to cover these costs. Just make sure you're aware that if more than one person is purchasing and one already owns a property, they will still have stamp duty payable regardless of whether the other person has or not.

2. Conveyancer suitability

It's crucial to make sure you get a conveyancer who is experienced with providing a thorough service when buying a home. They should be able to offer legal advice, deal with contracts, searches, the Land Registry, and the transfer of funds. Estate agents typically recommend conveyancers, but it's worth looking into it to make sure you find the one best suited to you - make sure they are certified too, by either the Solicitors Regulatory Authority or Council for Licensed Conveyancers or the Law Society.

3. Take care

A typical cause of delays will be miswritten paperwork. Take the time to carefully check yours over, read it in full detail and fill it in honestly. If it's incorrect, you could end up causing legal problems for yourself down the line.

4. Patience is a virtue

You may be desperate to get into your new home, but it's still vital that every aspect is thoroughly dealt with. The conveyancing process can involve lots of paperwork and additional enquiries, but you have to understand that the legal aspects are done with the interests of first-time home buyer at heart. With the exception of conveyancing, the mortgage arrangements, estate agent negotiations and the actual process all take time too.

5. Good communications

Make sure you stay in the loop of with the key players; this includes the seller, your estate agent, mortgage advisor and conveyancer. After deciding on your property, you need to ensure you have a smooth, hassle free process - in short, don't be afraid of badgering your agents. Similarly, keep your phone with you at all times, so you can stay informed of any changes. This applies to your emails too - and make sure you check your junk!

6. Satisfaction

First time buyers could easily enter into a contract that they simply don't get. This is where your conveyancer comes in - they will be able to offer you the best advice to make sure you get the best deal on the table, in both the long and short term. If you don't feel happy with your agreement, make sure you talk to your conveyancer, and they should then endeavour to sort these issues before it's too late.