The mortgage process, especially when you’re an inexperienced First-Time Buyer in Manchester, can be a stressful one. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way. To help you make the most of your next house viewing and be as prepared as possible, we’ve put together a list of nine questions to ask when buying a house as a First-Time Buyer.
You may want time to sit and think about whether or not you want to buy a property before you commit to it. This is understandable, as it is one of, if not the biggest financial commitment in your life.
By finding out how many people have viewed or enquired about the house, you’ll be able to more accurately gauge how much ‘thinking’ time you have, before you make a definitive decision. With this in mind, if the property is receiving a lot of interest, you need to be prepared to have a final answer sooner rather than later.
Whether or not the property is part of a chain can have a significant impact on some areas of your mortgage process.
If there’s no onward chain (e.g. new home, bereavement or emigration), it’s likely you’ll be able to move quickly, especially if you’re not part of a chain yourself. If there is no need for you to sell your own property first, then you’ll have more leverage as a buyer, as you won’t hold up the home buying process.
Make sure you use this to your advantage during property price negotiations.
If you’re not buying a new build property, then you might find the previous owner has chosen to leave some previous items behind, which could work in your favour. We often hear about white goods (this includes things like washing machines, fridges, freezers etc.) or sheds being left behind for the next person.
This can be great news for buyers as it can save money and time, though if you don’t want or need these items, you will have to factor in disposing of them. If you are buying a new build property, there might be optional extras you can buy which will be ready for you on the day you move in.
When moving into an area that you are not particularly familiar with, it’s worth finding out what the neighbours are like, as a good or bad neighbour experience can oftentimes make or break your experience of living in the property. However, if you opt to move to the development of new homes, you and your neighbours will be the ones creating the community, something which can also be a risk as initially you won’t know what anyone is like ahead of time.
Running costs can vary greatly depending on the house and the location, so it pays to do your research and ask the right questions. Find out how much the Council Tax is, along with with the average spend on utilities, by asking the seller or researching online. Acquiring this information can help you budget for each property accordingly.
If you like relaxing in the garden on late summer evenings or reading books in natural light, the direction the house faces can make such a large difference. However, you’ll often pay a sizable, more premium price for a south-facing garden, due to the fact that they receive the most sun throughout the day.
Again, this is something that can have a significant impact on your budget. Therefore, some important things to find out information about are:
Beginning negotiation discussions on a property is a pretty common part of the house-buying process. Therefore, it’s important to be as prepared as you can be to make an offer on a property that you like. You can learn more about this in our How to Make an Offer article. Once you’ve prepared for this, you’re ready to go and start making offers.
It is also worth having a chat with the seller or estate agent to determine what the seller of the home you are after may consider to be too low or too high. Find out if any other offers have been made and rejected prior to your offer.
By setting a date in your diary, you can plan your other jobs in advance, such as instructing a conveyancing solicitor, packing your belongings and arranging a removal van to bring your belongings to the new property.