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10 things to think about before you buy a house, says the Family Building Society

Spring is the time of year for looking for your first home but it can be a daunting and often scary idea

Buying your first home is a big scary journey. Sometimes it can almost feel as if you are strapped into an enormous rocket and there’s nothing you can do about it but hope and pray that you are going to finish up where you dreamed your journey would end – over the threshold of your first home.

It can of course, be extremely rewarding but like all journeys there are pitfalls and potholes along the way. Allow then the Family Building Society to offer you the following 10 steps which should help deliver you to the destination of your first house purchase.

1. Research every step. What do you want and where? There are estate agents and housing websites galore – more than you can count, so take the time to consider all your options.

2. What kind of home? If you are buying a house, it is probably freehold, if a flat probably leasehold which means there may be additional annual charges like service charges. Make sure this is a central part of your research.

3. The price is not always right. Check on Zoopla what other nearby properties actually sold for. The asking price will rarely be negotiated up, so think about how you can bargain some money off – are you a cash buyer? Are you in a chain?

4. View more than once. This is your home you are talking about – you will always miss something the first time you viewed it, so see it again and take a better look.

5. Don’t believe what you see in the pictures. They have probably been taken by a professional photographer who knows how to make a pig’s ear look like a palatial home…
Read the survey; slowly and carefully.

6. Do your maths – the house is more than you think. There are lots more and sometimes hidden expenses. Survey, valuation, lawyers, Stamp Duty, removals, even Land Registry fees. Make sure you tot them up or they will come back to haunt you.

7. Bills, bills and more bills. Don’t worry about it, you get used to it, but you will also have to calculate annual expenses like Council Tax, Water and Utility Bills.

8. Deposit. The biggest nastiest word in the whole house-buying lexicon. You will probably need 5-25 per cent of the value of the loan to put up as a deposit. Generally the higher the deposit, the better the mortgage deal (because it’s lower risk for the lender). There are mortgages out there which can help you with this, such as our Family Mortgage that allows your relatives to contribute to your security through the equity they have built up in their own home or through their own savings.

9. Remember the fees.  With all the excitement of buying your first property it is easy to forget the arrangement fee.

10. Protect your greatest asset. Your home, not to mention its contents, are probably the most expensive things you will ever own. Make sure you arrange the right kind of insurance cover; and you need to cover the property from exchange not completion. You may also want to get income protection in case you lose your job; the mortgage will still need paying whilst you find another job.  We can help you with that. And our Family Mortgage includes it at no extra cost as part of the deal.

Steve McDowell

If you have any questions about the above - feel free to get in touch with the Family Building Society and speak to one of our qualified and friendly staff on 03330 140141 or for more information click here

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Family Building Society
Ebbisham House
30 Church Street
Surrey KT17 4NL
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