First-time buyers often find themselves hit with conflicting information about the property market.
While it’s tough to buy a house anyway, this can make it even harder! So, we thought we’d set the record straight.
Time for some debunking – are these property ‘facts’ true or false?
Shared ownership is only for first-time buyers
While shared ownership is one of the ways the government can help you buy a home, it’s not for first-time buyers alone.
In fact, anyone earning over £80,000 (or £90,000 in London) can apply. However, it’s seen by many hopeful homeowners as a helping hand onto the property ladder.
Having a mortgage agreement in principle makes it easier to buy a home
Knowing how much you can afford will make house-hunting much simpler. It’s a common first-time buyer mistake to get your heart set on a property before sorting out your loan!
Also, you’ll appear a much more attractive buyer to sellers and their estate agents. Being able to demonstrate that you have a mortgage agreement in principle will prove you’re serious about the purchase.
It’s best to go with the first mortgage quote you find
Where mortgages are concerned, it’s best to ‘shop around’ until you find the right quote for your situation. A good mortgage advisor will not only take into account how much it will cost you each month, but what agreement is best for your individual circumstances in the longer-term.
To give yourself the best chance of this – talk to a professional mortgage advisor for your quote. These should cover the whole mortgage market and offer comprehensive advice.
You should always ask to see the EPC
An energy performance certificate can give you an insight into how much you’ll be paying in bills each month.
If the score is poor, this may change your mind about whether or not to buy the property. Alternatively, you could use it as a way to negotiate the house price down.
After all, you may end up paying more in energy bills if the rating is low.
The average age of a first-time buyer is 31
This number rises to 33 in London. However, the Help-to-Buy ISA scheme is making a positive difference in lowering this average age.
For example, a recent study showed that the typical age of those using the ISA is 27.
People always prefer to buy a home over renting one
While renting can be expensive, and it can be much more desirable to pay off your own mortgage rather than someone else’s, some people prefer not to buy.
Your credit score will affect mortgage deals
A lender will want to know that you can afford the monthly repayments you’re committing to. Many will see your credit score as a determining factor in this.
To improve your chances of getting a mortgage – check your score first.
Floor plans are always accurate
Due to different measurement standards and inconsistencies, you can’t always trust house floor plans. You may end up paying more for a property than you should, believing it’s bigger than it is.
The solution? The new RICS ‘Measurement Matters’ guide will implement mandatory measurement standards.
Get home insurance after you move in
When buying a house, insurance must be in place when you exchange contracts. You’ll be responsible for the property from this time, so leaving it until later can have disastrous consequences.
Be cautious when it comes to leasehold properties
Many of us have heard of the leasehold scandal, where unexpectedly high ground rent prices have cost some homeowners thousands. When buying a leasehold you don’t own the land it sits on. You essentially ‘rent’ the property from the freeholder.
This is the difference between freehold and leasehold that’s so easily forgotten!
The property itself is more important than the location
While the physical attributes of a property are a determining factor in whether you’d like to buy it – look at the bigger picture.
How much do you like the surrounding area? Many homeowners have found that this can play a significant role in how much they enjoy living there.
From crime rates to nearby planning applications, there’s a lot to consider. Luckily, we can collect all this information in one place for you! To get your property report, simply enter your postcode below to get started!