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

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Comments

  • Don't fall in love with a place and don't go over your budget.

    If the vendor doesn't accept what you're willing to pay for it, move on. There will always be something else that you can buy and may be even better!
  • don't get emotionally tied into the vendor, they are not your mate and their problems aren't yours.....

    sounds harsh so sorry
    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
  • maggie111
    maggie111 Posts: 1,130 Forumite
    Go for a full survey. The cheapest will get you a surveyor driving past the house and telling you what they think it looks like. In fact, on a mid range survey they don't even have to enter the property. My SIL was selling her house and the buyers got a mid-priced survey, and he only entered the house to go out into the back garden. If you're spending a £100k minimum, it is really worth paying £800 for an expert opinion. Not only that, but you'll know exactly what needs to be done when you move in and you will know that when you sell it on there are no nasty surprises for the new buyers to haggle you down on.
    I love surprises!
  • Squish_21
    Squish_21 Posts: 676 Forumite
    Get local solictors, that our recommended by a friend if possible. Then you can actually go to their office and badger them when things werent getting done.

    My solicitor wasnt local, took ages to do a straight forward purchase and we could never get hold of her. Defo usuing local next time, even if they cost more!
    Squish
  • spirit
    spirit Posts: 2,886 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker Mortgage-free Glee!
    ....is paramount. Beware of buying a property that has been built on a floodplain. The EA may tell you it has never flooded, try getting a good buildings insurance quote on one - you won't. As more incidents of flooding happen, insurance companies have begun to wise up and either not want to insure, or load the premiums.

    they seem to go by postcode. Always check this out on the environment agency's website. If the property is in a red highlighted area, then walk away.
    Mortgage free as of 10/02/2015. Every brick and blade of grass belongs to meeeee. :j
  • spirit wrote: »
    ....is paramount. Beware of buying a property that has been built on a floodplain. The EA may tell you it has never flooded, try getting a good buildings insurance quote on one - you won't. As more incidents of flooding happen, insurance companies have begun to wise up and either not want to insure, or load the premiums.

    they seem to go by postcode. Always check this out on the environment agency's website. If the property is in a red highlighted area, then walk away.

    Very true - good point
  • luxor4t
    luxor4t Posts: 11,125 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    Better a smaller house in a good area than a huge house in a bad area - think resale value.

    Plan for worse case scenario - we're still in a house we intended to live in for about 5 years 20 years later & now I wish there was a downstairs loo etc

    Don't assume DH will suddenly develop into an enthusiastic D-I-Yer if he's shown no interest or apptitude previously. Save a lot of heartbreak by factoring in repairs & replacements (bitter experience talking).
    I can cook and sew, make flowers grow.
  • rdownesy
    rdownesy Posts: 13 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 2 February 2010 at 9:05PM
    I have just bought my first house (new build) so here are my tips -

    1) When looking around, show no interest, just ask for the details. By the time we'd finished looking round, the word 'discount' had been mentioned more than a few times!

    2) Don't rush into anything - we had developer phone us the day after viewing to see if we were going to make an offer.

    3) Do your homework - lots of good resources on this site to check house prices, flood areas, noise, crime rates, planning applications etc. Don't make any assumptions, take the time to do these checks

    4) Repeat step 2. We had another call from lady that showed us round advising that there were 2 other couples interested and that she wouldn't want us to miss out. If she had others interested, why waste her time phoning me?! In this call she also suggested a very low price which she thought the sales team would accept - take into account the property had already been reduced by over £40k before this extra drop!

    5) When you do make the offer, go in low. They wouldn't budge from the price suggested in step 4, but I did manage to get the garden fenced, turfed and an outside tap fitted. I was not aware they didn't do this anyway and wondered if I was really getting anything for free, but the neighbours have no turf or tap as they didn't pay extra for them!

    6) Never use the solicitor suggested by developer - we used one that had been recommended by a friend and we had no hassle from them at all.

    7) Developers will usually get you to sign document agreeing to exchange of contracts within 28 days when you put holding fee down. I got quite stressed by this as we had a lot to do, but if the developer is anything like the one we used (a big name as well!), then their legal 'department' consists of a few key, overworked people so they have no chance of meeting that deadline themselves - just make sure you've done everything you can and chased your solicitor

    8) When you go for the 'home demo', take other people with you to try and spot the defects. We spotted about 20 (all fairly minor) which were sorted before we moved in. Still found some when we did move in, but dealt with a lot in advance that I wouldn't have spotted on my own

    9) If you need to carpet your house, then again, do your homework. Read forums, find how much good underlay really costs and then go and look around. When you find something you like, take the name and google it. You'd be amazed how many carpets can be bought over the internet and gives you a good idea on price. We ended up saving about £1200 on our carpet & underlay by getting quotes, asking other companies to match, then throwing in the internet prices and getting those quotes right down. Please do not go into Carpetright et al and listen to a word they say.

    10) Plan, plan, plan. If you have any ideas of what you want to do to the house, or furniture you are intending to buy, then make sure you have planned it well. Seems boring at the time, but it paid off - if we hadn't have planned some of our purchases well by taking floor plans with other furniture we'd bought marked out on it, we could have made some big mistakes!

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  • delmar39
    delmar39 Posts: 1,447 Forumite
    edited 2 February 2010 at 9:05PM
    Location, location, location! Little things, such as a south facing garden, off road parking or a corner plot may be the difference between selling and not selling when it comes to moving (as you probably won't be in your first home forever). Think of it as an investment as well as a home in which you'll live and be happy. Your first home will most probably fund future moves to fit in with changes in lifestyle i.e. children, so you'll want it to have the potential to increase in value market permitting.

    Other things include don't get your home and contents insurance from your mortgage provider (or at least shop around before you do); don't be afraid to walk away if things start to go wrong - trust your gut feel.

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  • DJ_Mike
    DJ_Mike Posts: 247 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    For me, it has to be "I wish I'd known more about how mortgage rates work".

    At the time I took out my mortgage, I was desparately seeking a situation where I wasn't paying too much more per month than my existing rent. What I didn't really click onto at that time (not being so well-read on how debt interest is calculated) was how much interest per month my mortgage generated, regardless of what I was actually paying per month.

    I took out a 4-year fixed rate of 5.84%, but I'm managing to overpay so much extra that I've now shot myself in the foot by being unable to remortgage onto a better rate because if I do I'll pay a 4% Early Repayment Charge.

    Knowing what I know now, I would've opted for a much shorter fixed rate, so I could re-mortgage with a much better LTV.
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