If you’re thinking about buying a property in London, you’re going to be making a pretty big investment. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or you’re buying this property as an asset, there are quite a few factors that you need to consider when it comes to buying property in the UK. You could hire Battersea estate agents or even Mayfair real estate brokers, but before doing any of that, here is a list of do’s and don’ts that you should keep in mind.
Do consider all the costs of buying
This includes costs like stamp duty, legal fees, mortgage costs, registry fees, real estate agent fees and obviously the initial deposit. Make sure you have enough money kept aside to comfortably pay for these expenses without burning a hole in your pocket.
Don’t invest in a property you cannot afford
As a rule of thumb, you should not spend more than 30 per cent of your monthly income on housing. That means, your monthly mortgage plus the cost of utilities should not be more than 30 per cent of your income.
Do look at multiple properties
Check out all your options before you decide on which property to buy. You need to see all your potential options, do your research and make a calculated investment.
Don’t set your heart on the first property you see
Many times, people tend to fall in love with the first few properties that they see. View all the potential properties with an open mind and choose a property based on your requirements.
Do use the right estate agent
The best way to view properties is through an estate agent. But you shouldn’t just hire someone because they are known to you. Go online, read the reviews of the estate agent, speak to people who have used this estate agent before and then choose the estate agent who is best for you.
Don’t think expensive means good
Some estate agents can charge you a packet and still not be very good, and similarly, a new or upcoming estate agent could charge less which might make you think that estate agent is not good. Choose the estate agent based on their skills, not their price.
Do check for the no sale no fee service
Some firms have a no sale no fee policy, while some don’t. Make sure you find out about this policy before hiring a real estate agent.
Don’t fall for first impressions
Don’t fall in love with a property just because it looks good. Walkthrough the property, check the taps, test the locks, check for any water damage and thoroughly inspect the place.
Do know what to look for in a property
Is the house soundproof? What is the plumbing like? Are there electric sockets in good condition? How much storage space is there? These are the kind of things that you need to look at when you walk into a potential property.
Don’t trust pictures on the internet
Go house to house to see potential properties. Just because a property looks spacious and clean in the pictures online doesn’t mean it will look the same in real life. Never ever trust the pictures on the internet, seeing is believing.
Do ask questions
Ask the seller questions like when the house was built, if there has been any termite infestation or water damage, what the neighbours are like, etc.
Don’t forget about a property inspection
You need to hire a professional property inspector to actually inspect the property. If there is any major damage or faulty construction, only the property inspector will be able to tell you.
Do start saving up in advance
You need to start saving up months in advance to be able to comfortably pay the initial deposit. Usually, banks ask for 20 per cent of the cost of total investment as the deposit amount.
Don’t ignore your credit score
You need to start working on your credit score at least six to eight months before you consider making an investment. The better your credit score, the better the rate of interest. If your credit score is not too great, the bank could even deny your loan.
Do get pre-approval on your mortgage
A pre-approved mortgage basically means that your bank will be willing to lend you a certain amount to buy a property. One of the biggest benefits of pre-approval is that you know your budget and you can start looking at a property within that fixed budget.
Don’t forget about the paperwork
There is a lot of paperwork involved in the buying process. Make sure you have lots of photocopies of everything, from your bank documents to your photo ID, from the signed contract to the ownership deed. You never know when you might need which document.
Do find out about equity schemes
The government has started schemes like Help to Buy, which can help first-time buyers get a house. Find out about these schemes and use them to your advantage.