My husband and I are thinking about moving house this year. We love our house and have been here nearly 7 years, but would really like somewhere a bit bigger.
While the property market may have stagnated slightly at the beginning of April, there is a sense that the average price point in the UK remains a little too high for comfort. After all, you will most probably have noticed the lack of wage growth recently, while the cost of food, drink and energy continue to rise and make it harder to save those hard-earned pennies.
Property prices in the UK fell for the second consecutive month in April, however, and this may be the start of a longer-term decline that offers genuine value to buyers. It also creates a window of opportunity if you are looking to make their move in the property market, so long as you are able to organise your finances and reduce the cost of buying a home wherever possible.
3 Top Tips for Aspiring Home-Owners
With this in mind, here are three steps that will help you to successfully buy your first home without breaking the bank:
1. Choose the Right Type of Mortgage
Let’s start with the basics; as there may be a number of reasons why you choose to buy a house. While the majority of buyers tend to purchase property so that they have a place to call their own and a solid foundation, others may be looking to invest in real estate in order to create an additional source of income.
This will dictate the type of mortgage that you buy, as each offers different terms and conditions to buyers. So, it is really important that you compare the market fully, and make an informed decision that helps you to get the best possible deal!
Once you have decided the exact mortgage that you need, it is also worth considering the finer details of your purchase. Overseas buyers may benefit from securing an offshore mortgage, for example, as this is more tax efficient and profitable depending on your individual circumstances.
2. Use Online Agents
The property market has changed a great deal in the last 10 years, particularly in terms of how buildings are bought and sold. More specifically, we have seen online agents claim an incrementally larger share of the buyer market in the last decade, thanks to the flexibility, choice and savings that they offer to vendors.
Online agents also offer advantages to buyers too, however, by making homes more accessible and offering in-depth search criteria to users. With major online portals such as Rightmove, it is even possible to search for properties according to your precise requirements while also comparing the market to manage your price expectations.
3. Do Not Underestimate the Art of Negotiation
Not only is negotiation a difficult skill to master, but it is also one that is often overlooked by in everyday life. It can play a really important role in helping you to achieve a competitive deal as a hopeful buyer, however, particularly if you are able build rapport with vendors and use your communication skills to gain some crucial leverage!
While each negotiation is different depending on the property in question and the state of the market, there are a couple of universal rules that can help you to drive down the asking price.
The first is to show a willingness to negotiate in the first place, while you should also seek out viable reasons for requesting a price reduction. It is also important to negotiate fairly and not get greedy, as vendors are unlikely to deal with buyers who make insulting offers or create bad feelings (unless they absolutely have to, of course)!