Buying a home can be a daunting experience. If you’ve never done it before, you’re left wide open to all sorts of dodgy things being done to you, by the seller, their estate agent, or even your own estate agent. However, as with many things in life, a little knowledge goes a long way. If you’re buying a home, here are some things you should know.
First and foremost, you won’t go far wrong if you set a budget and stick to it. Work out what you can afford, and then work backwards to include agents’ fees and other expenses (surveys, for example). Your budget minus the fees and expenses is the maximum price that you should pay for your house. If you go over, you’ll struggle and get yourself into all sorts of bad debt – and once you get into debt, it’s hard to get out.
The next important thing is to always have a proper survey done. They’re expensive, so it can be tempting to skip it or try to do it yourself from a checklist you found in a book, but it will be much more expensive for you if you buy the house only to find something that the survey would have. This is one reason why it isn’t a good idea to buy houses at house auctions – they will sometimes have drastic structural defects that a survey would have found, but you’ve just committed to buy the house without one.
The last piece of advice I have for you is to take your time. Once you’ve decided to move, it can be tempting to dive in and see as many houses as possible in a week, and then buy one of them. The people who find the best houses, though, take a year or even more, looking at only a few good houses each week, until they find one that really grabs them. If you do it this way, not only will you be less stressed, but you’ll also be much more likely to be happy with the result.