Buying your first home

On deciding to buy your first home, you’re likely to be excited and full of enthusiasm. However, you should take care to plan well and understand the process to avoid any unforeseen problems.

Here are some things you’ll need to consider to help get you started. Don’t forget to ask your friends and family who are already on the property ladder for help and advice – they will have first hand experience which will be of enormous help to you.

Prioritise your needs and wants

Think about what you need and what you want from your new home. Perhaps you need to be close to your place of work as you don’t drive. It may be that you want a large garden to satisfy your gardening hobby. Be sure to understand the differences between needs and wants as it’s likely you’ll need to make compromises on some of your preferences. This will help you keep track of what’s most important to you.

Do your research

Use the internet, your local library and your friends and family to find out all you can about the buying process. You’ll need to make decisions down the line and it will help if you understand the buying process.

At this stage, you will normally need to contact a mortgage advisor to see how much money you can borrow.

Set a budget

There are lots of costs associated with buying a home which may not be immediately apparent to first time buyers. As well as the cost of the house, there are also solicitors’ fees, survey costs, stamp duty and house insurance to consider. Budget for all these costs and stick within what you can afford – whatever the temptation.

Choose a location

Of course, the area you live in will be important to you. It will also be important when you come to sell the house to move again. Think about your long as well as short term goals and consider how easy it will be to sell your house when you want to move.

Investigate the local area. This should avoid the surprise of costly problems in the future such as flooding or subsidence problems in the area.

Running costs

Once you’ve bought your home, you’ll need to run it and there are further costs here which you’ll need to be sure you can cover. It’s likely you’ll want to decorate your new home to your own taste but there are some essentials you’ll need to cover first, in addition to your mortgage. E.g. water rates, electricity, gas, council tax and insurance.

Find out how you could save money with buildings insurance from Churchill.