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From Mortgages To Making An Offer: Essential House Buying Tips

Essential House Buying Tips

It’s impossible to escape headlines about soaring interest rates and mortgage fees at the moment. With inflation stubbornly high and interest rates rising as a result, it’s a tricky time to buy and sell. In this guide, we’ll outline some essential tips for buyers to help them navigate pitfalls and reduce stress.

Getting a mortgage

One of the most significant concerns for potential buyers looking for a new home is high interest rates. If you’re buying with a mortgage, rising rates mean that you’ll pay more every month. While many buyers were looking at rates of around 2% to 3% a few years ago, providers are now offering rates of up to 6%. For prospective buyers, it has become much more expensive to borrow money, which impacts the affordability of properties. Homes that may have been affordable in 2020 may now be out of reach, for example.

If you’re looking to buy, it’s essential to conduct extensive research, compare mortgage offers and keep a close eye on the news headlines. Seek advice and make sure you’re aware of the factors that influence mortgage costs and availability. One factor is your credit score. If you have a chequered financial past, or your score is low, you may find it more difficult to get a mortgage or find attractive deals. Providers assess applications based on risk. They may think you are too high risk if you have a history of bankruptcy, or you have missed payments in the past, for example. It’s worth trying to improve your credit score before you apply for a mortgage or any other financial product that involves borrowing money or accessing credit. It’s also important to consider the current interest rate and the amount of money you have to put down as a deposit. The higher the deposit value in relation to the total cost of the property, the better the offer.

Finding a property

Once you have explored mortgage deals and you have an accurate idea of your budget, you can start searching for your new home. Consider the location and create a wish list. Prioritise essentials and non-negotiables and think about what you would be willing to compromise on if you can’t find a home that ticks every box. Search online, filter results and contact local agents to see what is available.

If prices are too high in your chosen area, or you can’t afford to buy a house or flat that is big enough or has sufficient outdoor space in your top locations, it’s worth expanding your search area. In sought-after locations, you can save a substantial amount of money simply by adding more streets or neighbourhoods to your search. It’s wise to explore up-and-coming parts of cities and large towns if you can’t afford to buy in established hot spots. Look for signs of investment and development, including new housing, improved infrastructure and new offices, shops, bars and restaurants.

Try to be open-minded when viewing properties and listings. Don’t let garish wallpaper or poor-quality photographs put you off and view different styles of houses and apartments. Take full advantage of viewings. Take your time to look at each room, get a feel for the house and have a look around the area. If you like what you see, arrange a second viewing. It’s beneficial to write a list of things to check or look at and questions to ask the agent after the first appointment. The second viewing will enable you to inspect the property more closely and it should give you more clarity.

Making an offer

Unless the market is moving at lightning speed, you’re desperate to buy a specific property or there are already offers on the table, it’s always beneficial to take your time to make a decision. Make sure that you are 100% certain that you want to make an offer and discuss prices with the agent. If you’re not in a hurry and the seller is not considering any other bids, it’s worth starting a little lower than you’re willing to go and working your way up if the initial offer is rejected. You can strengthen your position if you are a cash buyer, or you can move quickly and you’re not in a chain. Be prepared to negotiate and remember that you can pull out if you haven’t exchanged contracts. You may wish to reconsider or review your offer after your survey, for example.

smiling woman holding a key

Source: Pexels

It’s not an easy time to buy a property with interest rates rising and mortgage costs increasing. If you are trying to find a new home, take these tips on board. Research mortgages, compare offers and seek expert advice. Set a budget that doesn’t overstretch you, view different types of properties and be willing to compromise if you can’t find your dream home within budget. Take the time to view properties more than once and negotiate on the price.

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