Buy­ing for the first-time ? avoid these big mis­takes

Argyllshire Advertiser - - PROPERTY FEATURE -

BUY with your head, not your heart and al­ways pay at­ten­tion to the home re­port

THERE is noth­ing as won­der­ful as turn­ing the key in the door and walk­ing into your first home. There is also noth­ing as po­ten­tially ter­ri­fy­ing. This is the big­gest fi­nan­cial de­ci­sion of your life and it will in­flu­ence the way you live: where the kids will go to school, fu­ture hol­i­days, cars and even your ca­reer de­ci­sions. The win­ning post is the home you want and en­joy at a price you can af­ford.

Pri­or­ity

Think long and hard about what you need your home to do:

• Be close to your job or can you af­ford, or face, a com­mute?

• How many bed­rooms, will one be an of­fice/hobby/mu­sic room?

• Open plan? • Garage or not? On or off street park­ing?

• Size of gar­den?

• Do you have the skills to ren­o­vate, or abil­ity to live in a house be­ing ren­o­vated over time as cost al­lows, or would you be bet­ter buy­ing new or ren­o­vated?

Money

Don’t break your heart by find­ing your dream home only to dis­cover your credit score isn’t good enough; get a pre-ap­proved mort­gage so you know what you can af­ford and stick within that bud­get. Once you know this don’t go to the very top of your bud­get. You need wig­gle room.

Wig­gle room

The cost of buy­ing a house is more than a mort­gage. It can be stamp duty or le­gal fees. You could well have a removal bill to pay, build­ing and con­tents in­sur­ance and money set aside for re­pairs when they ar­rive, and they will! Plus any new ap­pli­ances you will need like a cooker, fridge or wash­ing ma­chine. This is be­fore you have bought a can of paint or a stick of fur­ni­ture.

Go in head­first

Make sure you buy with your head, not your heart. If you fall in love with a prop­erty don’t let that love be blind! One of the big­gest blind spots for a first­time buyer would be to not heed the home re­port. Any­one sell­ing a prop­erty in Scot­land has to pro­vide a home re­port. This is a pack of doc­u­ments that pro­vides more in­for­ma­tion about the prop­erty for po­ten­tial buy­ers: a sin­gle sur­vey, an en­ergy re­port and a prop­erty ques­tion­naire. Read it from cover to cover and heed what it says be­cause this re­port high­lights struc­tural prob­lems and things like rot, ris­ing damp and wood­worm. All things which will make you fall out of love pretty fast. You need to be calm, cool and col­lected and able to walk away if the house is un­sound or too ex­pen­sive.

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