5 Tips To Buying Your First Home

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Getting onto the property ladder can be a big step in anyone’s life. It takes so much planning and research, and for many first time buyers, a considerable amount of savings.

There are some obvious great benefits to owning your own home; you can put your own stamp on the place in a way you often can’t with a rented property. Mortgage repayments can be cheaper than paying out rent to a landlord every month. A lot of people see renting as ‘dead money’ as it does not build up equity.

We’ve recently completed our own self build project, and through this process it taught us plenty in terms of buying your first home. Whether you’re buying a property or building a house yourself, there are lots of similarities. Below we discuss some of these.

Calculating the Cost

Be sure and consider every expense involved in moving. There may be legal fees, surveying, stamp duty, moving costs – plus the costs of any renovation or decorating work you might need, plus buying new furniture. Professional and legal fees were something we didn’t necessarily consider, while we would also recommend giving yourself room for manoeuvre in your budget, whether you’re buying or building.

Finding the Right House

Think about what you need from your home now, and in the future. It might just be you at the moment; but if you plan to start a family, you will need extra rooms, and you might want to think about having a garden and the proximity to the schools you might want to send your children.

Sit down and prepare a list of everything you want from a property and have a budget in mind and head off to your local estate agent to see what is available. Chances are you may have to go beyond your budget to get your dream home, so be prepared for some difficult decisions.

Visit a House More Than Once

Visit any homes you are considering buying at different times. Go during the day, the evening, on weekdays and weekends. Make sure the neighbourhood suits your lifestyle.

If you want somewhere quiet, explore the area- make sure there are no busy roads, supermarkets or pubs nearby. Check to see if there is planning in place for anything nearby which could alter the value of your property in the future, or considerably affect your life.

Hire a Professional

You’ve found your home, but you will need a survey. Surveying companies like Allcott Associates or Property Directions who we used can provide a great overview of the property you are looking to buy.

A survey will go into great depth, looking at the structure of the home, examining any potential work that might be needed and highlight any problems which may cost you dearly in the future.

Use a professional solicitor to handle all of the paperwork. It isn’t worth trying to save money on something that might end up costing you more in the long run. Read reviews online and ask for recommendations from friends and family who have recently moved home.

Hire a reputable removal company. Everything you own will be boxed up and transported, and there would be nothing worse than damaging valuable or, irreplaceable and sentimental items in transit.

Make the Right Offer

Once you are happy that you’ve found the right house; put in an offer. Don’t be afraid to offer less than the asking price. If other, similar homes in the area are going for less, then make an offer in that vicinity.

Once an offer has agreed, get the seller to agree to take the house off the market while the sale goes through. This will prevent someone else sweeping in and making a more desirable offer than you!

Got Something to Add?

Have you recently moved home and have something to add to the list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Until next time, thanks for reading.

Helen, Nial and Lewis.


Welcome to Pikalily, an award-winning food, travel and lifestyle blog. We are Nial and Helen, a happily married couple from Northern Ireland, who share a passion for food and travel among many things. We became parents to our beautiful boy Lewis in 2017. Follow our adventures through the blog.

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