Buying a house - Part 1July 26 2017, 0 Comments
Buying a house is stressful and I’ve not even completed yet! Here are some things I’ve learned along the way which I may turn into a series of blogs and may help you or someone you know.
Finding a broker
Find a great broker. A friend recommended her broker to me and he was great, taking me through every step of the process and finding the best deal. Sure you pay a fee for the service, but you pay that with estate agents brokers too, they just hide it well. A good broker will tell you what you can afford so you don’t overstretch your finances.
Having an independent broker means that you go straight to the agents without having to sit down with all your documents and discuss your finances with them. Save time and energy and have an AIP (Agreement in Principle ready) and avoid the hassle. An independent won’t discuss your finances with the agent and therefore they won’t know your budget. But be aware some agents don’t like this, see below.
Estate agents can be economical with the truth. One rogue agent told me unless I speak to their broker I wouldn’t be told about new houses coming onto the market. I would be at the bottom of their list of people to call. They never did call and when I called and asked if anything new coming up, I was told no, but within an hour a new property was listed by them on Rightmove… Being blacklisted by estate agents when your looking to get onto the housing ladder is just something you don’t need!
There are some good ones out there though that would always call when something suitable came up. You should really trust your agent, if you tell them you are looking for a garden and parking and looking to move straight in, they should stick to that mandate.
Please don’t think when a new property comes up, in your price range that it will be suitable for you, if it’s not they won’t tell you about it. You’ll go along anyway and find that it needs gutting and wouldn’t be out of place on Homes Under the Hammer. Great if you’re looking for a bargain and have the skills and time to fix it up. Not so much if you’re renting and want to complete and move in without having to pay an extra month's rent. When you come across a good agent, you have to trust them to find a property suitable to you.
What not to tell your agent!
I wouldn’t recommend telling any agent your absolute ceiling amount you can go to, they will always try to push you past it. A house £10k over your top amount with sellers willing to drop sounds great, but it’ll mean stamp duty is pushed up too, can you afford the extra cost? Does the increase in price tag mean that no work needs doing? If not, you are paying more and then having to budget in fixing the place up. The agents make money via commission, the higher the sale price the better it is for them.
Why not take a free 14 day trial of our personal finance software to see exactly what you can afford and how buying a house may affect your finances? You can always email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions along the way!