There are a number of factors to consider when deciding to buy a property.  Below is some useful information that may help the process feel much easier to deal with.  Once you have created your ‘My Property Search List’ you can then crack on with the exciting part of finding your perfect property.

First things first... Create a budget plan.  There are some additional costs to consider other than just the mortgage repayments and deposit, and in my experience the more knowledgeable the buyer the smoother the process, as unpleasant financial surprises can be avoided.  Below is a list of costs to factor into your budget.  A mortgage advisor and your estate agent should be able to assist in calculating some of these costs based on the property you chose and your current financial circumstances

Mortgage repayments

There are many available online tools to give you a rough idea on what this maybe, however a mortgage broker will have up to date rates, and will be better equipped to give a more accurate result.

Insurances

  • Mortgage protection. This will protect your home in the case you lose your job or fall ill.
  • Life insurance to enable your family to pay off the mortgage in the event of your death.
  • Buildings and contents insurance against the risk of fire, flood, theft and accidents.

Council Tax and water charges

The local authority website should have a guide to the costs of the area.

Gas, electricity, telephone, etc

Ground rent and service charges

Property maintenance

Most leasehold properties and some freehold have to pay addition charges to a company responsible for the maintenance of the block/building/communal areas and other maintenance responsibilities.  Your agent should be able to give you an idea of what this maybe for the property of interest.  Service charges can range anywhere from around £50 per annum to £2000+ with much higher costs if major works are panned on the building. Your solicitor will be able to ask for a schedules plan of future works.   Other additional costs when purchasing include:

Solicitor or licensed conveyancing fees.

An independent survey – Should you require.

Mortgage arrangement fees.

Land Registry fee.

Stamp Duty Land Tax.

Other things to consider when collating your plan to purchase should include the following...

Area - Get out and about and do your research. If it’s an area you’re not that familiar with, spend some visiting the local Parks, Pubs, Restaurants and this should give you an idea of the area... Make sure the closest transport links work for you...

Viewings – Register with as many agents in your chosen area as possible.  A good agent will keep communication open and will update you regularly about new properties matching your criteria.  However during busy times with such a large number of buyers looking, I would advise you contact your agent via email or a call every so often to ask ”anything new?”  This continued communication between you and agent means that when that perfect property matching your criteria comes up, you will be the one that gets that call to come view first!

Also register with online search portals like Zoopla, Rightmove and On the Market etc...  You can receive property alerts as soon as they go live online!

Communication – Create/use an email address solely for your new purchase as there will be a lot of correspondence to monitor, from confirmation of viewings to offer accepted letters, solicitor correspondence and sales progression.  You don’t want to miss any important mail.  Set a voicemail alert on your mobile so that messages can be left... Many people may miss out on that perfect property just because they didn’t get the message.