Whether you’ve just had an offer accepted on your first home or you’re searching for somewhere to get your foot on the property ladder, there are few things you might not be expecting when you buy your first home that might come as a shock.
Despite the average age of a first-time buyer remaining roughly the same for the last decade, going up from 30 in 2010 to 31 today, the numbers of first-time buyers are declining year on year.
Things will take longer than anticipated
Once you’ve had an offer accepted on a property you might already have thoughts of moving in. But the time it takes to go from having an offer accepted to getting the keys can be a lot longer than anticipated.
Not only are there the local searches and surveys to wait for, but there’s also all the forms that need filling in – on average this process alone can take up to 12 weeks.
As a first-time buyer you’ll likely be at the bottom of a property chain. Should a sale fall through higher up, you may find that the whole chain collapses and you’re left without a purchase. With more than 300,000 property purchases falling through last year alone, it can be an all too common occurrence.
You might get scared by the homebuyer’s survey
While not a legal requirement, it’s always advisable to get a homebuyer’s survey, especially if you’re purchasing a period property. Many buyers become scared when they see a survey as it can throw up some unexpected, and sometimes costly, issues with the house.
The first thing to remember about a homebuyer’s survey is unless the majority of things are given a red, then there is nothing wrong with the house. Amber colours are just advisory and things to look out for in the future.
If you’re not put off by the survey (and you really shouldn’t be!) you can always renegotiate your offer to take into consideration some of the work that might need to be done on the property or negotiate with the current owner and ask that they carry out the work before completion.
There could be unexpected costs
Buying a home is a large investment, and you may find that you’re faced with a lot of unexpected costs. This can be anything from having to pay more for your conveyancing because the sale was trickier than first thought, your completion date might be pushed back and you might have to place your belongings in storage or you could be hit with some unexpected solicitors fees.
In these emergency situations, sticking to your personal budget may be very difficult. If you are short of available funds while you are moving in, you may find that spreading the cost of unexpected bills with a short-term loan is a viable final option. However, you must be sure that you can afford the repayments of the loan if you do decide to apply for one.
Ultimately, it’s important to remember that no matter what happens, you’ll have a home you love.
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