What should you check when buying your first home?

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Buying your first home is a huge milestone. It’s also likely to be one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your lifetime, so it’s important to make sure you choose the right property and get the most out of your purchase – and avoid unforeseen costs. First-timer buyers will benefit from knowing various hints and tips when searching for an ideal property.

Here’s what you need to know.

 Benefits and reliefs available for first-time buyers

Getting on the property ladder for the first time can be very difficult, with multiple factors coming into the picture. For example, you might live in an area with extremely high property prices and your savings or income might make the prospect of buying a house extremely tricky. Fortunately, there is help out there.

Check whether you are eligible for Government schemes, such as:

– LISA: Savings from a Lifetime Individual Savings Account (LISA) can be used for a property worth £450,000 or less or be saved for when you are older. The government will add a 25% bonus, up to a maximum of £1,000 a year.

– Mortgage guarantee scheme: This allows lenders to purchase a guarantee on mortgages where a first-time buyer has a deposit of only 5%.

– Shared ownership: This involves buying up to 75% of the property and paying rent to the provider to cover the remaining amount, meaning you need less money to buy.

 

Key things to look at when buying your first home

Here is a summary of some of the important things you need to check when buying your first home:

  1. Check the roof: The cost of replacing a roof could cost thousands. Meanwhile, replacing a few tiles generally costs a couple of hundred pounds. It’s worth checking for even a couple of broken tiles, as they can open up further issues in poor weather, leading to costly repairs.
  2. Consider whether there’s scope for an extension: If you’re planning to grow your family or simply extend the property for improved living space, it’s worth assessing whether there is room to add an extension to your property with the assistance of extension insurance for added peace of mind.
  3. White goods: You may be surprised by how many homes don’t come with white goods included, where previous owners have taken them to their next property. Fridges, cookers and freezers can be expensive to buy, so check what is and isn’t included.
  4. The local area: While it’s important to assess the house, it’s equally important to get a feel for the local neighbourhood. Do you feel safe? Is there green space nearby? Are there amenities in the area? Have you had a chance to speak to the neighbours?
  5. Signs of damp or mould: Getting an idea of how a house will cope during the winter is an important thing to consider. There may be patches of mould or damp that could become worse in these conditions. Look out for wet walls for an indication of this. Damp can be very costly to fix, so don’t skip this step.
  6. Signs of subsidence: If you spot cracks in the property, this could indicate subsidence, which is a structural issue that can be expensive to rectify. Subsidence involves the property’s foundations being pulled into the ground beneath it and it’s one of the last things you’ll want to deal with after buying a house.

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