First time buyers guide

First tome buyers guide

Anyone who is wishing to enter the property markets in Maidenhead, Windsor and Slough has many elements of the complex process to consider. There are many resources which can be used, such as the internet, books, estate agents and other people who have experienced buying a house. Making the move to being a homeowner can be different every time, but there are a few things to know about before starting the process.

Stage one - establish a budget
The cost of the whole process of buying a property should be taken into consideration when working out a budget, with everything calculated down. This includes the asking price of a home, solicitor and agency charges and property surveys. Another 10 per cent should then be added on top of this sum to allow for unexpected costs. Buyers should avoid viewing properties which fall outside of their budget and not be tempted by estate agents who may encourage them to look at more expensive houses and borrow more money. Finances should be looked at in detail, double checked and stuck to.

Stage two - use a trustworthy estate agent
Working with a reliable estate agent is essential, whether a buyer is looking to get a traditional mortgage or take part in a rent-to-buy sale. This person will be helping and advising on important factors, from spending your money to finding an ideal property. First time buyers should research and educate themselves about the process of buying a house so as not to be taken advantage of by an estate agent, who may believe they do not know how it works, and should look into local house prices around Maidenhead, Windsor and Slough. Good estate agents should be able to be trusted with the information they pass on however, and will handle legal arrangements with solicitors with care and be professional when offering communication between all parties involved in the process.

Stage three - setting out requirements
First time buyers should consider their wish list of requirements before committing to a property. They should highlight what they would like from a location, such as amenities and facilities, including shops and entertainment, whether local schools would be a deciding factor or how safe an area is. A separate list should then be made, flagging up any factors which are preferable but not essential, for example, a local park or outdoor space. The same list should be made in reference to the actual property, outlining bedrooms needed, gardens, garages, etc. Make sure the estate agents are aware of your preferences.

Stage four - thorough property viewings
Consider the basics - checking electrical, structural or plumbing problems or anything which may require money being spent in the future. Even the small issues should be assessed, such as leaking taps and broken window sills. Whether furniture will be left behind within the price should be understood and bargaining can take place.

Stage five - considering paying
There are other options apart from mortgages to help first time buyers secure their initial property, such as home ownership schemes. This concept works by allowing a buyer to purchase a portion of the house and either pay off the rest with a loan or rent back the rest of the home from a housing association. Starter homes are also a way of getting onto the property ladder, which is when a developer helps the buyer with financial matters such as a deposit for mortgages which allow residents to rent immediately and buy later. These options can often be a way out of renting for first time buyers. The exciting time of buying a first home should be enjoyed, however it is also vital that research should be done into locations, price and property types, and hasty decisions should be avoided. Buyers should discuss decisions with partners, family or friends to get some perspective, and always stick to a set budget. Planning properly will reduce stress and ensure first time buyers will become proud home owners without too many setbacks.