Buying for the first-time ? avoid these big mistakes
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.
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?
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.
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.