The last 18 months have seen huge change in the housing market, as the Government looked to support the sector through the pandemic. Whilst some changes, like the reduction in stamp duty have now been removed, some elements will undoubtedly remain as the explosion of excitement to move holds strong.
The most significant change we’ve seen is the importance of being ready to move or buy a property, rather than just looking. Preparation is now the key to securing your dream property and ensuring a smooth transition either onto the housing market or up and down the ladder.
It doesn’t have to be a daunting proposition. As a full service estate agency, we’ve asked our team to give their top tips on the process of buying a house, from securing your mortgage to sitting in your dream property with a glass of bubbly!
1. What can you afford - get your finances in check!
- Checking your credit score and making any changes you can to boost it, is a great place to start. Simply reducing the number of credit cards you hold can improve your rating.
- If you’re a first-time buyer it pays to think ahead. Help to Buy accounts may be closed to new applicants but Lifetime ISA’s offer an alternative way to save for that all important deposit. You can pay in up to £4,000 a year towards your first home and the Government will add up to £1,000 bonus after a year. It’s worth opening one and adding a few pounds so the time starts ticking.
2. How much can you borrow? We’ll show you the money
- There’s nothing worse than finding your dream home and then not being able to secure a mortgage against it. Although you need a property before a formal mortgage offer, it's worth getting an agreement in principle from a lender first as it's easier to turn that into a formal offer.
- In a competitive housing market, making an offer having already secured the funds makes you a better prospect for the vendor and may be the difference between you securing the property or not.
- As a general rule the bigger the deposit you can put down the better the interest rate you can achieve.
Our advisers are independent and have access to a wide range of mortgages so they can help secure the best deal for you. There’s lots to consider including set up fees, repayment charges and the portability of your loan. With over 40 years’ shared experience they can offer support and guidance every step of the way.
3. Time to start searching. We can find the perfect property.
- Get in touch with your local estate agency and let them know what you’re looking for. Their sales teams can advise as soon as a suitable property becomes available even before it goes online.
- Check how long your ‘in principle’ deal is valid for. Most mortgage lenders give you 90 days but some are less, so ensure you know which you have and renew if you need.
- Did you know that there is no stamp duty payable for first time buyers if the property is under £300,000?
Our sales team’s across our five branches are experts in their local property market. They can advise on first time properties with great resale values and rural properties with excellent transport links. Wherever you’re looking to buy our estate agents will help you find the perfect property.
4. Now you’ve found the property, we can sort the paperwork.
- Once you’ve had your offer accepted it’s time to get the paperwork finalised with your mortgage provider.
- We recommend lining up a conveyancer nice and early so that they can jump straight into action and get all the checks done without delay.
- All mortgages require life insurance to cover your mortgage payments and you may also need a property survey. There can be additional costs of buying a house like extra checks your conveyancer needs to make, so it’s worthwhile having a contingency fund alongside your deposit, so the extra costs don’t break the bank.
Our team can support you through the conveyancing process, and our insurance team can ensure you have all the necessary life, contents and building insurance before you move in. Together, we can make sure that all documents are finalised, ready for your completion date.
5. Exchange contracts & move in! We can help you look to the future.
- First, pour yourself a glass of bubbly, sit back and enjoy your new surroundings!
- Looking to the future, we recommend regular reviews from an independent mortgage adviser to help you continue to secure the best deals and pay off your loan faster.
- Now you’ve bought the property of your dreams, we can help with your plans for the future. From critical illness insurance to investments, retirement and inheritance planning, our extended financial team is here to guide you through it all.
You're in safe hands. The Poole Townsend team can support you not only through buying your dream property but also with a number of additional services along the way.
We're here for the journey. To forge a trusting relationship that will last for life, wherever it takes you.
Take your first steps by giving your local Poole Townsend branch a call.