First Time Buyers GuidePosted on 01 May 2019
Buying your first home, though very exciting, can be an extremely daunting experience. Therefore Belfast estate agents, Pinpoint Property, have put together a step by step guide on how to finance your move, find that perfect property, choose a reputable solicitor and eventually close a sale. Our aim is to make our move as seamless and stress-free as possible.
Financing your move
Unless you are in the enviable position where you can offer cash on a property, you will need a mortgage to finance your purchase. Mortgage lenders take into consideration your earnings when calculating your level of eligibility. Once you have secured a deposit, you can apply for an agreement in principle. This allows you a better understanding of what you can and cannot afford when searching for your first home.
Pinpoint can help you access independent and expert financial advice about available NI mortgages at a time and location that suits you through our partner Faye Culbertson of Milecross Financial. Better still, Faye does not charge an arrangement fee for setting up the mortgage which saves you money against the cost of any surveys required. Get in touch with Faye for more information.
Managing your budget
When buying your first home it is essential that you take into consideration the other costs associated with owning a property. You may have to fully furnish the house as well as redecorate or renovate. There may be annual rates and management or service costs to take into account.
There are also extra fees to consider when purchasing your first home such as stamp duty, solicitors and surveys. Allow your budget some room for movement; you don’t want to be in a position where you are financially overstretched! Some financial advisors will also charge an arrangement fee for setting up your mortgage and insurance cover.
Starting your search
Call in and speak to us with a wish-list of what you are looking for. For example, if outside space and good transport links are essential, make sure to notify our agents of these requirements. Alternatively, if you have email, join our mailing list and set your own criteria. When any new properties come onto the market that match your search you will be immediately mailed a summary of the property details. Pinpoint will endeavour to find you a property that best suits your budget and needs.
We advise against using Google etc. for your property search as it can often throw up results of properties that have already been sold and are not current. Pinpoint and most other agents advertise currently available properties on the leading websites PropertyPal.com, and PropertyNews.com as well as their own websites.
Choosing a Solicitor
Once you have made an offer on your new home and it has been accepted, you must appoint a solicitor to instruct the sale. They will begin the sales process and carry out all the necessary checks and searches on the property. See our Guide To Choosing A Solicitor
There are a number of solicitors that Pinpoint would highly recommend when it comes to managing the legal aspects of buying your first home. Please contact us for further information.
Organising a Survey
At this stage in the proceedings, your lender will require a compulsory mortgage valuation survey. This survey will not spot any major faults but will guarantee the value of the property for your mortgage provider. You may also wish to consider a homebuyers survey or a full buildings survey but these can be sometimes unnecessary, especially if the property you wish to buy is of modern construction and may even still be covered by the builders 10 year guarantee. Naturally these surveys are more costly but highlight, in more detail, any current or future problems and defects that may occur in your new home.
Collecting your keys
Once all parties have agreed to and signed the contract and all necessary monies have been cleared, Pinpoint will be in a position to release the keys. Once you have informed the Land & Property Services that you are now responsible for paying the rates on your new property, it’s time to start moving all your belongs into your new home! Then you can sit back, relax and enjoy your new abode!
To discuss the process in more detail or to speak to someone directly about purchasing your first home, please contact us or call into any of our branches and speak to one of our agents