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Buying your first home? Here's five steps you'll need to take when getting on the property ladder.

Posted on 13 September 2017
Buying your first home? Here's five steps you'll need to take when getting on the property ladder.

Buying a home for the first time can be an exciting but sometimes overwhelming experience, with a lot of decisions to be made, information to learn and work to be done. Here at Aria we want to make the process as simple as possible, so to get you started we’ve made this simple guide to buying your first house.

Set a budget.

Buying a house is the biggest purchase most people will make in their lives and it’s import that you have a budget worked out from the beginning. The biggest cost you’ll face will be your deposit, but you will also have to pay solicitor’s fees, moving costs and electronic transfer fees. Even after all of that, you’ll have to work out if you can afford your monthly repayments, so factor in your monthly cost of living as well.

Have proof of income and expenditures.

When you apply for a mortgage, your lender will want to see documents proving you can afford the mortgage. They will want to see at least three month’s payslips, to assess your income and the affordability of the loan. If you’re self-employed they may want as much as two year’s accounts.

Review any existing debts you might have, such as personal loans or credit cards. A borrower with other outstanding debt might be seen as a higher risk by the bank.

As well as being able to prove your income, your bank will need you to give a detailed account of your monthly expenditure, covering everything from food and clothes to how much you spend on socialising. It’s important that you’re realistic and honest because this can affect how much you can borrow.

Find the right mortgage.

There are many different types of mortgage product available and it’s important that you find the right one for you. Do you want a repayment mortgage or interest only? If you choose an interest only mortgage, how will you pay off the capital at the end of the loan term? Once you’ve found a mortgage that works for you, agree it in principle with your lender, this will tell you how much you can borrow and what interest rate you’ll have to pay.

Arrange a solicitor and a survey.

You’ll need a solicitor to handle all of the legal work that’s involved in buying or selling a house and a surveyor will make sure there are no problems that could affect the value of the property. Solicitor’s fees are typically between £850 and £1,500 plus VAT and they may ask for a deposit up front. They will also search for any local planning issues that might affect the property, which will typically cost £250-300. The survey is likely to cost around about £400 on top of this.

Find a house and make an offer.

Decide what kind of property you want to live in. Do you want a house or an apartment? Does it have to have a garden? Do you need to live close to where you work or near a school? Questions like these are especially important if you have children, or you’re planning to have children while you live in the property. Based on this you can start to shortlist houses that meet your needs.

Once you’ve found somewhere you want to buy, you’ll have to make an offer. However much you like a property it’s important that you don’t get carried away. Always stick to your budget and walk away if you can’t agree a price that’s affordable for you. Remember to factor in the other costs, like fees and Stamp Duty.

Hopefully your offer will be accepted and you will be able to plan your life in your new home.

So, if you’re ready to take your first step onto the housing ladder, drop into one of our offices on Belfast’s Lisburn Road or in Templepatrick and we’ll help you find your new home.