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Blog » 10 top tips for buying property

Buying a property will probably be the most expensive purchase of your life. So it’s vital to make sure that you do everything right, as the last thing you want is to buy a property that you’re not happy with, that isn’t worth the price you’ve paid for it, or is falling to pieces!


James shares his top tips for buying property as painlessly as possible.

Research into property prices and mortgages

There’s such a diverse range of properties out there it’s important to know exactly what you can get for your money. With many websites available, it’s easy to check the history of a property and to see what price other properties on the street are selling for.
With mortgages being such a large expense, it’s going to make a huge difference if you can find the best rate possible. Even the smallest difference on paper could result in a massive saving over the term of the mortgage. With most lenders, the higher deposit you put down, the lower the mortgage will be.

Make sure you've calculated the cost of the purchase

Unfortunately there are more costs than you might think associated with buying a property. Some are more obvious than others, such as furniture removal and new furnishings costs. There are also legal fees from your solicitors/conveyancer, which will include disbursements such as all searches and stamp duty. Survey fees and mortgage arrangement fees will be paid to your mortgage advisor.
It can all rack up very quickly, so make sure you know exactly what you’ll be paying.
I would also advise you to budget for some repair/updating costs to your new property after you’ve moved in.

Ensure the location is right for you

This is important to ensure that you enjoy living in your new home. As nice as the property may be, you need to know that the location and surrounding area is equally desirable. If your neighbours are terrible or the neighbourhood is prone to crime, you could regret your purchase.
My advice is to visit the property you are interested in at different times of the day.

Think "selling"

One of my recommendations to buyers the moment I meet them and shake their hand, is to think about the re-sale.
Who would be your targeted market - families, first- time buyers, elderly? Is the property close to local amenities? Is there anything obvious like a pylon close by to put people off? Is it in a high rental density area with houses of multiple occupancy? Is it close to a pub?
While you may be looking at the size and condition of the property, there may be other factors you are not considering.

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Ensure there are no obvious problems

It makes sense to view the property you are considering buying a couple of times, to avoid potential problems. These hazards could include damp, something that can be expensive to sort out. Then there are the fixtures and  ttings. Check that all the lights work and that all the locks function correctly. Your lender will conduct a survey on your behalf, but remember surveyors are not qualified plumbers or electricians and will therefore recommend that you ask a professional to check the boiler or inspect the electrics.

Know exactly what you're getting

You will receive a fixtures and  ttings form from your solicitors/conveyancer which will include all the items that the vendors will leave. Although the vendors may leave many items in the house, they are entitled to take any  ttings as long as they list them down on the form. Don’t get caught out with any unexpected surprises when you move in, finding that some of the fixtures and fittings you saw in the property when you looked around, have now left with the owners.

Make sure your credit score is the best it can be

When applying for a mortgage, your mortgage provider will almost certainly check your credit rating to ensure that you are who you say you are, and that you have the means to pay back the amount of money you are borrowing.
There are quite a few obvious issues that can affect your credit score, such as outstanding debt or a history of debt, or County Court Judgements (CCJ’s).
There are also some slightly less obvious things that can make a difference to your credit score. For example, it’s important to be included on the electoral register, as many mortgage lenders will often use this to verify identities.
I once came across a first time buyer who had just inherited a large sum of money and was about to buy his first house with a large deposit. Because he had no credit cards, store cards or loans his credit rating was low. So lack of credit history can also have a negative effect on your credit rating. For further advice please speak to our experts at Regal Park Financial.
Ultimately it’s not too difficult to check your credit score - Experian is a popular company that I often use.

Research future developments

It’s important to ensure your hopes and dreams are not shattered by a future housing development being planned nearby. Or even a future motorway being planned in the close vicinity. These kind of planned developments should be picked up on the searches that your solicitor/conveyancer carries out on your behalf. But it might be worth researching the area yourself, talking to the neighbours to find out more about the area.

Pay the price

If the property is right for you regarding location, condition and amenities, then don’t be afraid to offer the asking price to secure the property. While we all want to negotiate the best price and try to save money, I have seen too many buyers lose their dream home because they were not quick enough on securing the sale and the property was sold to someone else. Bidding wars don’t bring the best out in people and at the end of the day, it’s the vendors’ choice who they sell to and for what price.

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All round protection

We never think the unexpected will happen, but you should always plan to protect yourself against such events and protect loves ones in the ultimate event of death.
What if you lost your job? Income Protection will provide income to the household so at least you can pay your mortgage and not get repossessed should you be made redundant.
Life Insurance will pay out in the event of death, so this will protect your loved ones and at least they can pay off the mortgage.

For further advice about Buying or Selling, Mortgages and Mortgage Protection please call Regal Park Financial on Stamford 01780 430 444, or Peterborough 01733 560 650; or visit RegalParkFinancial.co.uk


james_small.jpgJames is the managing director of Regal Park and has been in the Peterborough property industry since 2004.

James is very passionate about what he does and as an independent company James really does care about his customers and will go that extra mile to provide a personal service.

Thinking of selling?

We are an independent local estate agent with a knowledgable friendly team ready to help.
We never use high pressure sales techniques and tailor our services to suit you.