Thursday, 28 June 2018

25 fantastic tips on buying your first home


Buying your first home is an exciting experience. It can also be incredibly time-consuming with all the viewings and paperwork involved, disheartening when offers fall through and confusing in finding the perfect mortgage rate for you. There are several online guides, mortgage calculators, financial advisors and government schemes that can make the process a little more straight-forward. But it can still be a confusing time! I asked more than 20 bloggers their advice on buying a new home and received so much wonderful advice! Read their tips below!

25 tips on buying your first home

1. Save as much deposit as you can so you can get a better mortgage rate when the time comes. Laura, Five Little Doves

2. Go back for multiple viewings before making an offer. Different things show up at different times of day so it's important to go back a couple of times if possible. Lyndsey, Me, Him, the Dog and the Baby

3. Shop around for the lowest interest rates. Lianne, Anklebiters Adventures

4. Don't make an offer on the first house you see without seeing at least 5 more. Make sure it really is perfect! Katy, KatyKicker

5. Shop around to get a feel for the market, even if you go back to the first one you looked at. We viewed several before we bought our first home and when we walked into it for the first time we knew immediately that it was the right one. Make sure you walk around it without the estate agent on your shoulder too, so that you can really take it all in, especially the things that can't be changed like how much light flows into a room. Jo, Cup of Toast 

6. Take someone along who knows what they are doing to help view it. We have just bought one and a survey showed we needed to fix the roof but not that the heating system was broken or that we would need the whole house rewiring. We still would have bought it but we would have lowered our offer more. Carly, Mummy and the Chunks 


7. A mortgage broker will take the stress out of searching for the perfect deal and will also have a look through your credit files first to find the right lender for you. Ours also found us a solicitor, helped us organise the survey and has been really supportive in quite the stressful journey. Nicola, Mummy to Dex

8. Don't be afraid to ask questions and try to look beyond the current owner's furnishings. Also consider how your needs might change in future. Nicola, Mummy Wales 

9. Try not to completely set your heart on one house, as even when you’ve had an offer accepted it can still fall through and be devastating. Another house will turn up, and sometimes be better than the one you first wanted. Hayley, Miss Manypennies

10. Don't view politely! If possible move things like curtains or take someone that can be that thorough. Try to spot oddly placed furniture as they could be hiding something big. Victoria, The Growing Mum

11. Run the shower and taps to make sure there are no leakages. We learnt this the hard way. Don't feel embarrassed to look inside inbuilt cupboards etc. You don't need a mortgage advisor because there are hidden fees and your solicitor basically does the same job. Be realistic do you need a house with a garden if you hate gardening? Do you need 2 spare rooms that you will never use? Think what you need as a family not what everyone tells you, you 'should' have. Carla, Our Amanahs Our Futures

12. You will probably view so many houses when looking for your first one but although time consuming it means that you will really get an idea of what you actually want. Look at projects and new builds so that you get a feel for different styles. You will know the right one when you walk in. Laura, Mummy Lauretta 


13. Don’t be afraid to barter on the price - we had the vendor pay our stamp duty because they were adamant they wanted the full asking price. Joy, Pinkoddy

14. Meet with a financial advisor before you do anything - it's always good to have a fresh pair of eyes and some impartial advice. You can often get a free consultation, and ours made the mortgage process really easy for us, so we got to focus on the fun part - looking at houses! Kirsty, Life with Boys

15. Don't let the estate agent push you around and do not use their "independent" mortgage adviser - you could be giving away your bargaining power. Pete, Household Money Saving

16. When you book in other views of one you like, take family members to get their perspective too. They may notice something you had overlooked, they may have good questions for the estate agent and they can be a good set of fresh eyes to give you an honest view. Emma, Emma Read

17. Don't be tempted by taking the biggest mortgage they will offer you - remember that you will still want to have a life! Instead start saving hard for the biggest deposit you can. Eileen, Your Money Sorted

18. Put as much of a deposit down as you can and start making overpayments straight away if possible. We did this and are now mortgage free 9 years early! Michelle, Time and Pence


19. Budget in all the other costs like removals, carpets, fittings etc. It all mounts up. Rachel, Rachel Bustin

20. Don't scrimp on your survey - you are making a huge investment so make sure you making the right investment. Carla, Mybump2baby

21. Go back to view as many times as you want. You have every right to see the house more than once or twice as it's such a huge decision. We went to view our current home 6 times before deciding to go for it. Beth, Life as Mum

22. Live in it for a little while before making any big changes as what works on paper / in your head isn’t always practical. A little patience will go a long way if you end up with a house that needs some work. Charlie, Our Altered Life

23. Natalie Brown Wine! We are in the process of buying our first property & it's soooooo stressful - wine is keeping me sane! Natalie, Crummy Mummy 

24. And finally I have two bits of advice: Make yourself known to the estates agents and ask them to tell you whenever a new property comes on the market. In Brighton & Hove, houses go so quickly that it is so beneficial to be the first person to view the property, sometimes before it's reached the company's website! In this way, you avoid the rush and make an offer on a property quickly, if it's the one for you!

25. My other piece of advice is that people refer to their 'perfect house' but I'm not sure one exists. Maybe I just haven't come across mine yet but I do think a certain amount of compromise should also be considered. For example, a house without a garden may be next to a big park or another bedroom might not exist now but could possibly be built as an extension one day. Think about what you really need and go from there.

With housing costs at an all-time high, the thought of owning a house can seem a long way off for some. For many people it takes years to save money for a decent deposit.  However, have a good search to see what help you can get. Ellison Thomas are a Manchester-based solicitors who specialise on helping first-time buyers and have produced this wonderful infographic for the help-to-buy scheme.



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This is a collaborative post. Thank to all the bloggers who contributed to this post.

Hope these tips are handy! Would you add anything else? I'd love to hear your thoughts :) 


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13 comments

  1. Great tips. I don't think I followed a single one when I bought my house. I bought off plan, didn't have a penny saved and didn't even think about viewing another house. Thankfully it worked out perfectly but when it comes to moving I'm going to have to bring a print out of this post with me haha!

    Katie xoxo

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  2. Wow this is an absolute treasure trove of knowledge and one that will be so useful for first time buyers!

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  3. Such amazing tips! Definitely think its a good idea to see lots of houses, so easy to get attached to the first one not realizing how perfect the next ones might be! x

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  4. I was reading through this and nodding along - so many great tips and I agree wholeheartedly x

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  5. These are all great tips, some I wouldn't have thought of! Buying a house is such a huge purchase it really does need planning and careful thought.

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  6. These are great tips, so useful and really practical. We're off the property ladder at the moment so I'll need all these tips again in a few years. Mich x

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  7. My daughter is just buying her first home and she has been shocked by all the 'extra's' she keeps being charged

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  8. These are some fantastic tips as buying your first home can be pretty daunting although I love being on the property ladder

    Laura x

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  9. Great tips - it is such a massive step, buying your first home,my nephew has just bought his. Kaz

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  10. Number 23 is definitely my favourite tip, when I bought my house I definitely needed a drink or 2 in the process.

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  11. These are great tips and I am definitely going to bookmark this post! We currently rent but really want to buy in the future, we are just trying to save up a deposit which is hard but we will do it eventually!

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  12. Awesome tips, I wish I followed the pivotal ones when I first bought my new house. Now a face some problems which could have been avoided. Well, I guess we learn through experience. Learn this here.

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  13. Owning a house and lot is a serious investment and cutting back on unwanted expenses would enable you to have a house you deserve. Also, choosing a home should not only be based on your instincts but should also fit well in the budget so no unwanted readjusting is needed.

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