Online estate agents in the UK will tell you that Brexit had a significant effect on the housing market all across the country. In some regions, buying and selling property is more stressful than ever.
But in the North of England, the market is still stable. If you’re looking to buy a home there, now is a good time to do it.
What do you need to know before you make a purchase? Whether you’re shopping for property in the old-fashioned way or you’re hoping for online property sales, these 10 tips can help make the process easier.
1. Use an Independent Financial Advisor
Before you start looking at houses, you may need to enlist the help of an Independent Financial Advisor (IFA). Do you need one? Not necessarily. But these experts can help you get everything in order when it comes to finances. For example, they can help with mortgage deals and insurance.
2. Try Not to Use Help to Buy
Help to Buy is a government program. It’s aimed at anyone who is looking to purchase a newly built home over £600,000. With this program, the buyer only has to put down 5%.
However, try not to do this unless you’re desperate. Using this program means less equity in your home. Additionally, you may find that mortgage products are more expensive. So, despite the initial savings, you may end up paying more in interest per month.
3. Factor in Higher Interest Rates
Interest rates may grow over time. Looking at your financial situation realistically can help prepare you for eventual payment hikes. Take time to think about your career and earning power before you decide on your preferred price range.
4. Have a Mortgage Agreed in Principle
Getting a deposit together should be a minor concern when it comes to buying a property. You should focus your attention on the monthly payments, and it’s important to know exactly what to expect.
Have your IFA write a letter with confirmation that the mortgage is agreed in principle. Your estate agent will appreciate it, and you’ll have a firmer understanding of what’s available in your price range.
5. Get an Experienced Solicitor
You’re going to need a conveyance solicitor at some point during this process, and there are many options to choose from. Do some research and select an expert you can trust.
6. Ready Those Documents
If you have an IFA, you may have already gone through this process. But to secure a mortgage and solicitor, make sure to have the following documents ready:
• Bank account statements, 3 months’ worth
• Proof of address, 2 documents
• Payslips, 3 months’ worth
• Proof of deposit funds
If you are receiving partial funds as a gift, you’ll need additional documents. Make sure that the relevant parties sign the gift declaration forms.
7. Live in a Rental
If possible, live in a rental property while you look for one to purchase. This keeps you in control of your living situation and gives you time to look for the ideal property. In the North of England, it’s easy to find properties to rent in any price range you like.
8. Compile a List of Absolutes
Compromises are impossible to avoid when you’re buying property. But having a list of “must-haves” saves time when estate agents try to sell you on places you don’t want to compromise on.
9. Take Every Viewing Seriously
Viewings are similar to interviews, and your goal is to make it clear that you’re a serious buyer. Put some thought into looking smart and engage the vendor with questions.
10. Be Willing to Pay for the Full Valuation
Is a full valuation worth the money? In the long run, it is. A thorough valuation service tells you everything you need to know about the desired property, including any problems that may come up later.
The Bottom Line – Do the Groundwork
Before you contact any traditional or online property agents, it’s important to complete some preparations. Hire an IFA, gather your documents, and get a letter with mortgage agreed in principle. Once that is done, you can start looking for the home of your dreams. Your agents will help you narrow down your options.