Whether you are a first time buyer, a family that needs more space or downsizing now that your children have flown the nest – buying a property can be an overwhelming and confusing process.
We spoke to some professional estate agents Chelmsford to put together the 5 top tips for those looking to buy a property in 2020.
1 – Finances
If you feel like you are financially ready to purchase your first or next property, then a mortgage cost calculator is an easy and quick way to help you get an insight into what you can afford and the amount you would likely be allowed to borrow. These can be found on things like mortgage lender or independent financial advice and broker websites. Be sure to take into account additional outlays such as surveys, moving costs, solicitor’s fees and legal expenses.
It could be in your best interest to speak to a mortgage adviser or broker who will look at your financial standing, factoring in things like income, debts and deposit amount to make a professional assessment on how much you could borrow. They will also be able to better explain how certain types of mortgages work and which type might be best for you. These steps should always be taken at the very start of your property search so that you go into it with realistic expectations of your limits and what you can afford. If you are able to get a mortgage offer in principle then this is a great way to show sellers that your finances are already in place, putting you in a very strong position when it comes to making an offer.
2 – Your Property Wish list
Your property wish list will depend on the stage you are at with your life and will need to take into account your plans for the future. Having a list sectioned into – must haves, would like and do not want can help to give you clarity on what it is you are looking for.
This might include basic factors such as location, number of bedrooms and parking as well as less obvious things like the desire for period features, outside space or potential to extend. Whatever it is that is on your list though be sure that you don’t rule out great properties entirely just because they don’t tick every box! Prioritise your non negotiables and be open minded. Walls can be knocked down to create open plan living, rooms can be painted and new bathroom suites fitted but you can’t magically add extra footage or move transport links closer.
3 – Post Brexit Housing Market
No matter what side of the fence you fall on there is no denying that the housing market has been affected in recent years by the uncertainty that Brexit has caused. With the UK having now left the EU and in the transition period it can leave buyers jittery at the unknown effect trade deals and negotiations might have on property prices.
Nobody has a crystal ball but property is a long term investment and even if there was to be a short term price drop they will almost certainly stabilise. It is up to individuals whether they decide to go ahead and buy or not but investing in a property always comes with a certain amount of risk no matter when you do it.
4 – Get Out There and View Properties
Estate agent photos are often a poor substitute for the real thing so getting out there and viewing properties you could be interested in is a great way to get a clear idea what is available in your budget and helps to make comparisons with other homes to help spot good potential deals.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you waste sellers time by viewing homes that are out of your price range or in the wrong location but be open minded to take a look at places you ruled out because of décor or interior layout. You never know, this could be the property you fall in love with and with a few adjustments can become the perfect home.
5 – Buy The Worst House on the Best Street
Everybody has heard this saying but it’s a great thing to keep in mind if you have your heart set on a particular neighbourhood where house prices are proving to be a little steep and you find yourself compromising too much in order to be able to buy in that chosen area.
If you are happy to spend time renovating and aren’t afraid of a project then buying a house that needs work is a great way to get what you want, in the location you want and within budget and you’ll be able to renovate and decorate everything to your exact styles and tastes.