Buying your first home can be a daunting task. With so many factors to consider, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and even carried away by the excitement of being a new homeowner. Make sure the time is right for you with our top tips on taking out your first mortgage.

Have you researched the market?

Before making any decisions, it’s important to do some research on the current housing market in your area. Are prices rising or falling? What types of properties are available? How much can you realistically afford? By doing your homework ahead of time, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about whether or not now is the right time for you to buy a property.

Have you created a budget? (And do you stick to it?)

Having a budget in place is key when purchasing a property. Once you’ve done your research and determined what you can afford, create a budget and stick to it. This includes setting aside enough money for fees associated with buying your first home, such as solicitor’s costs and surveys. Knowing exactly how much money you have allocated towards these costs will help ensure that everything goes smoothly during the home-buying process.

Have you got a contingency fund for unexpected costs?

Buying a house can come with unexpected expenses, such as repairs or upgrades that may need to be made after moving in. Make sure that you have enough in reserve so that if these situations arise, you will be able to handle them without any financial difficulty.

Have you discussed how you will be buying a property with your partner?

If you’re buying with someone else, it’s important to understand the different ways of buying a property together. One of you may have equity from selling a previous property, while the other party might be a first-time buyer. A solicitor can advise you on the best way to purchase a property, depending on your personal situation. There are two main ways of buying a property: Joint Tenants, which means you both own the property equally, and Tenants In Common, where you own different shares of the property.

Are you and your partner good with money?

It can be challenging and stressful to throw your lot in with someone and buy a property if they’re not good with money. If your partner has debts, are they definitely the right person to buy a property with? It may sound harsh, but can they be trusted not to incur future debt? If they have a loan or credit card balance now, do they have a good reason for it, such as losing a job temporarily or being unwell for a period of time and being unable to work? Or are they consistently in debt and running out of money before the end of the month?

It’s also worth discussing in advance how you are going to manage your budget. Will you do this together, or will one of you take responsibility? If one of you has bad credit, you may be wondering if you can still get a mortgage. If you’ve had a credit problem in the past, getting a mortgage may still may be possible, depending on the lender and the timing.

Buying a house is an exciting experience but also a huge responsibility, so it’s essential to do your research and have clear expectations from the beginning.   

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