Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Buying your first home can be a pant-wetting experience. So:

  • Make sure you've got enough cash. Not just for the deposit, but for furniture, soft furnishings, repairs and other sundry wonderments. There's also the surveyors, the solicitors and stamp duty to consider.
  • Try and find a solicitor who has been recommended to you personally. Ask friends and colleagues who have moved recently and try and get the best one you can (not necessarily the most expensive). You should end up with someone that knows exactly what is needed at every stage, but it's surprising how often delays occur. It also helps if you have one that you feel happy going to with any silly question and there'll be plenty of those.
  • Only move on your own (ie, without a removal firm) if you are very strong and have many good and similarly strong chums. Even if you think you've haven't got much stuff, can you really put everything in one suitcase? Probably not. It's amazing how your possessions don't look like very much when they're spread between the place you're sharing with friends and your mum and dad's. The piano your grannie left you, the flatpack shelves you bought from Ikea and all your electrical goods won't fit into a Peugeot 205, no matter how many trips you make, so, if you do have to do it yourself, at the very least, hire a van.
  • Make a checklist of all your priorities including:
  1. Price
  2. Number of bedrooms
  3. Local transport links needed
  4. Schools
  5. Parking
  6. Garden size
  7. What's going on in the local community
  8. Amenities
  9. Amount of decoration/restoration you're prepared to put up with
  10. Location, location, location - in fact, have a good walk around the neighbourhood you're thinking of settling in. Those well-spent ten minutes can be very enlightening.

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