Legal advice from Tim Jordan, Conveyancing Partner based in Stockton Heath
Q: Can you provide any advice on how a buyer can get make the first step onto the property ladder.
A: A good place to start is to identify how much money you would be able to spend on a property. What you are able to borrow will be based on your deposit and your current salary or combined salaries if you are buying with a spouse, partner, parent or friend in a shared ownership agreement.
There are many helpful online sites that can help with your initial research into borrowing levels, but before you make any decisions discuss with your bank or with a mortgage advisor. An independent advisor will be able to look at the options available to you across the whole of the market and won’t be restricted to one financial institution.
There are Help to Buy schemes available, for more information and to identify the ones in your area go to www.helptobuy.gov.uk.
There are other costs you will need to take into consideration when budgeting for buying a property. These include legal fees, survey costs, any banking or mortgage charges, any repair costs, Stamp Duty and if you were buying an apartment any block service charges.
When you have a clear idea of your finances you can start to look for suitable properties.
Do remember that you may not get your dream home initially, so be prepared. Draw up a list of your priorities in order, just in case a compromise is needed to keep you within your budget.
Research fully especially if you are looking to buy in an area you are not familiar. Check out the ease of commuting, the facilities available and what the street and surrounding areas are like at different times of the day and week.
It’s also worth noting that timescales from committing to buying a property to actually moving in can often be a surprise to first time buyers so do be prepared and it is worth factoring in any savings account notice period for your deposit.