LIFESTYLE: What every first time buyer should know about getting on the property ladder

Getting onto the property ladder can be exciting and daunting in equal measure. If you’re about to take the plunge and purchase your first home, it’s important that you know what you’re doing. After all, investing in a property is a huge financial commitment, so you won’t want to make any mistakes. To help you understand the process that little bit better, here are a few things that all first time buyers should know.
You should set a realistic spending limit
Especially for your dream property, it can be tempting to stretch your budget to the very limit. However, it’s important to be realistic when you’re setting your spending limit. Bear in mind it’s not just the cost of the home itself that you’ll need to consider. You also have to factor in expenses including survey fees, stamp duty, mortgage fees, legal costs, removal expenses and more. Also, once you’re in your new home, you’ll have more than your monthly mortgage bills to pay. You’ll have insurance costs, utility bills, council tax and a range of other expenses to contend with too. In addition, you might need to set aside some money for improvements and ongoing maintenance.
The conveyancing process can be complex
The legal process that transfers the ownership of a home from seller to buyer is known as conveyancing and it can be highly complex. It is possible to do this yourself, but unless you’re an expert in this field, it’s advisable to get a specialist to do the work on your behalf. After all, if anything goes wrong, you could end up facing a plethora of legal problems. Most solicitors offer conveyancing services. However, when you’re looking for a firm, it’s important to make sure you find one that has expertise in dealing with property law. You should be able to tell this by taking a look at their websites. For example, The Law House has a section on its site dedicated to residential property law. Choosing a suitable firm will help ensure the process runs smoothly, and it could keep your stress levels in check.
It may take up to 11 weeks to complete the buying process
Once you’ve found the property you want to buy and had your offer accepted, you’ll no doubt want to get the keys and move in as soon as possible. However, a little patience is required at this point. It can take up to seven weeks to exchange contracts and, after this, you may have to wait a further four weeks to complete. Meanwhile, if there are any problems, your move-in date may be delayed even further. This is something to bear in mind if you need to give notice on a rental property.

These are just a few of the issues to bear in mind when you’re buying your first home. To help you avoid the pitfalls associated with purchasing a property, it’s important to do plenty of research before you put in an offer.

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