People planning to buy a house for the first time may find house hunting a tasking, albeit exciting venture. And for those who are young, have a good career, and are ‘upward moving,’ the dream of owning property is an important priority.
There is a widespread belief that buying a house is fraught with unnecessary hassles with agents, brokers, lawyers etc, but first time home buyers must understand that it’s really not much of a problem, nor is it difficult. Once the interested buyer knows what he wants for a first home, working with solicitors and perhaps mortgage institutions, allows the home buying transactions to work out to the benefit of all parties.
To achieve this great milestone in one’s life, there are a number of fairly straightforward laid down procedures that need to be followed. Plus it is good to know whose services may be required, and what is to be expected from each service provider.
First Time Home Buyers – Know the Main Participants
Aside from the buyer, the main participants involved in the home buying process are:
- The Property Seller, who could also be the property owner. The seller is also referred to as the property vendor
- The Solicitor
- The Real Estate Agent
- The Surveyor
- The Bank or Mortgage company
The Property Seller
There is always suitable property available out there for anyone and everyone intending to buy their first house. All that’s required is a good search for property sellers as they always have homes to sell, and even when they don’t, they constantly search for, find, and sell ideal properties to home buyers. Buyers will always find the dream home that will fit their pre-determined budget from property sellers.
The seller will show all available homes up for sale, that will comfortably fit into the first time home buyer’s budget. If there is an interest shown, the seller will arrange for an inspection and if an interest is shown, will then give a detailed home information brochure pack for the buyer to study. These packs are always available, especially for newly built homes.
And when the seller is certain of the home buyer’s interest, and if offers and condition are acceptable, then the property will be taken off the market temporarily, and reserved for the buyer.
It is advisable that solicitors appointed come well recommended, as first time home buyers will find referrals easier and safer to work with. Solicitors are appointed to work out the conveyance that leads to the drawing up of agreements, a necessary requirement for the process of buying a house. It is always beneficial to engage the services of one.
Asking family or close friends to recommend a solicitor is a good idea. Contact can be made with two or three different solicitors before a final choice is made. This is also a good way to find out how their charges or fees are structured.
Charges for a solicitor’s services are paid by the home buyer, and the choice of payments for their services will range from their asking for a fixed fee, to a pre-determined percentage fee structure.
The Real Estate Agent
The real estate agent is found to be of tremendous help to first time home buyers. And even though estate agents are always eager to sell properties, they are the important link to the property vendors.
It’s advised that first time buyers keep a relationship with real estate agents. In the event that real estate agents come across properties that fits the buyer’s request, or is close to what they are looking for, they will make immediate contact with the buyer for an immediate sighting and inspection. The real estate agent’s fees are paid by the property seller.
The surveyor’s job is to get a full structural survey about the house up for sale. With their inspections, they know the exact condition of homes on the market and will inform the first time home buyer if, for example, the building is falling apart, or whether it will need extensive repair works carried out before it is fit for habitation.
First time home buyers especially, must never rely on home condition reports from the sellers, as they may try to cloak or ‘gloss over’ important structural issues that may need to be addressed.
It is possible to liaise with a lender directly and choose one of their mortgages, but the good thing about consulting with mortgage brokers is that they have at their disposal, access to much greater ranges and types of mortgages available today. They will be of much help to first time home buyers because of the added benefits they can provide. They will advice the buyer on the different lenders available, the best mortgage rates and the charges that should be expected.
The mortgage brokers will help choose the right mortgage for each home buyer. They also help with the filling of applications, and can give the buyer ideas on the amount of money that is possible to borrow.
Buying a House for the First Time – Taking the First Step
Before deciding to buy a home, a first time buyer must know the type and style of the home they are interested in. They should have a good idea of the area they want the new home to be sited. Any amenities, special or standard, that may be essential to live well and comfortably must be known.
The next important thing is to know how much savings has been put aside for the major project of buying a house. The savings available will determine how much can be afforded as a down payment or deposit.
Once first time home buyers have arranged their thoughts, and know their financial standing, they can then commence their search for properties that fit within their budget, and one that will satisfy their needs.
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