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Five top tips for first-time buyers.

Are you looking to purchase your first property? Take the stress away from buying your first home with our five top tips for first-time buyers.

1. Improve your credit score before applying for a mortgage.

One simple tip for all first-time buyers is to improve your credit score. This is because mortgage lenders will look at your credit history when deciding whether to offer you a mortgage. Mortgage lenders will also use your credit score to evaluate your financial behaviour. An effective way to demonstrate that you are an ideal client is by demonstrating good financial behaviour through your credit score. 

Improving your credit score can be simple and can be done through a combination of the following: paying off any existing debt repayments on time, registering on the electoral roll and cancelling credit cards that you no longer use.

2. Understand the true cost of buying your new home.

Buying your first home involves far more than just simply purchasing the property.  There are often additional costs to consider when buying a home which you do not want to be caught out by. 

In order to get the clearest estimate of how much you will spend in total, be sure to work out the costs of all the additional services you will need to purchase. The costs are not limited to but can include mortgage arrangement fees, valuation fees, legal fees, stamp duty, surveys and any repairs that need completing. By keeping the total cost of buying your property in mind, you can accurately budget, take control of your money and help take some of the stress out of buying your first home.

3. Take advantage of viewing your potential home in person.

Viewing a house in person is strongly recommended and where available, it is an opportunity not to be missed. 

This is because viewing a house in person offers experiences that virtual viewings cannot. In order to get the maximum out of viewing property, why not visit your potential new home at different times of the day? Daytime is the perfect time to take photos of the property in natural lighting and see the surrounding area.

4. Get all the information on your desired property.

Before you purchase your new home, it is important you understand the property inside out and know the details of anything that may present a challenge. These can often be found by having a survey carried out on the property. Surveys are incredibly detailed and may bring to light any issues within the property that could affect the price, potentially getting you a better deal on your first home.

5. Know the deadline for backing out, if needed.

If the worst comes to the worst and you decide the property is not for you, you may find yourself asking is it too late to back out? Fortunately, it is not too late to walk away until your solicitors have exchanged contracts. Up until this point, you are free to pull out of purchasing the property without facing penalties from the seller. 

However, if you change your mind after exchanging contracts, you may face large costs.