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Great 'What I wish I’d known before I bought my first home' Hunt



  • Essex_Stewart
    Buy the worst condition property in the best area :beer:
  • AlexH_2
    I always ask permission from the vendor to take pictures of every room etc and make notes as I inspect. This allows you to reflect fully on the property and act as a reminder when all the houses blur into one! My experience of being firm but fair has allowed a good relationship to develop which has helped when things get a little more tense.
  • NiggyG
    NiggyG Posts: 27 Forumite
    We bought our first house in Oct 09. So far I still think we got a good deal and haven't had any nasty shocks. It's likely you'll be in your fist home for a while so it's not a choice to make lightly.

    1. Read MSE's first time buyers guide, it's full of usfull tips.

    2. Get multiple quotes on each step and ask if the quote they give includes ALL charges. Ask them to break the quote down. My solicitor price matched another firm who I was going to go with but I couldn't as the seller was using them (Sellers and buyers can't use the same solicitors).

    3. Saving a couple of grand now will reap you rewards further down the line (Obvious but very true). Make sure your not paying over the odds, I used to get an estimate of my home and looked at the value of nearby property and recent sales in the area.

    4. Probably the most important thing for first time buyers is that this is the easiest purchase you will ever make as your not in a chain. Use this to your advantage. If you can find someone who is ready to move then use your position as a bargening tool to bring the price down.

    5. I'm sure most MSE readers are not affraid of haggling but don't be afraid to put in silly offers. We got just under 20% of the asking price, mainly because of point 4.
  • tazical
    tazical Posts: 94 Forumite
    I see some people on here have already suggested getting 3 quotes or more for any tradesman work that needs doing after you've bought your house- I totally agree but I'd add that it's hardly ever a good idea to go for the cheapest quote. There's usually a reason why they're so cheap, and it's probably because a) their quality of work is awful or b) they use the cheapest (and shoddiest) materials possible. I can't stress enough how much it's worth paying a little bit extra to avoid future problems down the line. Plus you get stuck with more expense when you have to pay someone else to re-do the job properly!

    The best idea is to ask family or friends for tradesman recommendations- if they don't have any then ask local reputable businesses as most good companies will know who's reliable and who to avoid. For example, if you need an electrician, ask an established local plumber or similar who they would recommend.

    In the case of electricians, make sure that the company is registered with one of the industry compliance schemes, such as ELECSA, NICEIC, NAPIT etc. If they're not then they won't be able to certify the work they do for you which may cause you problems when you try and re-sell the house and have no certificates for work which was carried out. Not to mention the fact that if they're not registered then the work they do is possibly illegal and may be dangerous. The easiest way to check their credentials is to ask to see an up to date certificate from their trade association.

    Finally, beware of tradesmen who will a) only give you a verbal quote or b) claim they can start work straight away or fling a date at you without consulting a diary. Any good tradesman will give you quotes or estimates in writing and if they don't have any current ongoing work to consider then they're not likely to be any good!
  • maggiebee48
    View the property at different times of the day to check for noise, activity of neighbours etc. A drive around at different times would be good, too. There is nothing worse than moving in and finding the neighbours have driven the previous owners out!!!
  • silence12
    Hi, I am a proposed first time buyer with a government incentive of £30k.

    Firstly, I am not too sure if I could use the £30k as a deposit on the property.

    Secondly, I am so new to all of this. My budget is £155k max and I am looking for a two bed.

    I have seen a few properties, but odd bits need improving, which is not a problem.

    I am buying this property as a home for myself and my young son.

    My question is when I put an offer on the property, if accepted, then apply for the relevant searches........but what if one of the searches (FULL Survey) comes up with something horrendous... would I loose my deposit and the cost of the survey.

    I would apprechiate the advise. Kind regards:j
  • goldengirl28
    Hi Silence12,


    i don't have any suggestions on your specific points,

    however you might want to create your own thread so people can reply directly to your points, as people may not see you reqest for advise on this post.

    i'm sure loads of people will be along and give you some really useful advise

    Let me know if you need help creating a new thread.............good luck:)
    2010 challenges
    Saving £8k to add to house deposit - done:D
    8000/10,200 done 28 April (started jan 1 2010)
    Lose 2 stone/ -5/23 to go
    Sell our house and buy another one
  • sunshine101_2
    One suggestion, which I didn't think about when I bought my house, was to check who owns any really large trees bordering your property. I don't believe (guys correct me if I'm wrong) there is any legal requirement for neighbours to maintain trees (unless dangerous) to ensure their trees don't get too high and they could eventually cut out any sunlight to your home/garden. This has happened to us and I wish that someone could have warned me prior to my house purchase as I didn't think about it at the time.
  • Sylvan
    Sylvan Posts: 347 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    sunshine 101: If the trees cast a shadow on your windows the council can make the owners trim them to a height that won't block your light.
    (It was a planning enforcement officer that told me that, so they'd probably be able to tell you which department you need to contact)
    Time flies like an arrow.
    Fruit flies like a banana.
    Money talks, but chocolate SINGS

    "I used to be snow white but I drifted" (A seasonal quote from the incomparable Miss West)
  • Sylvan
    Sylvan Posts: 347 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    silence 12: You don't pay the deposit till you exchange contracts (which you don't do till you and your solicitor are satisfied with everything), so dropping out after the survey would only mean you lose your survey fee.
    It's worth it.
    Time flies like an arrow.
    Fruit flies like a banana.
    Money talks, but chocolate SINGS

    "I used to be snow white but I drifted" (A seasonal quote from the incomparable Miss West)
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