Are you a first time buyer?
As a first-time buyer, the process of finding a place can be a lot. Securing a deposit, keeping an eye on the credit score, keeping tabs on estate agents and properties you want to live in, up to this point you’ve been through it all!
But the moment of truth is here.
You’re stood outside a house that could be the perfect fit and you have 15 minutes to have a quick look around with your estate agent or the owner, or both! Then the big question bounces around your head like a frantic monkey on a pogo stick:
“What should I look out for as a first time buyer??”
There are definitely more things to consider when viewing a property, but we’ll get you started with five!
1 – What Build is the property?
Being a first time buyer you may not be aware that what the house is built out of may affect your chance of getting a mortgage and insurance cover. Typically, we have:
Traditional Construction: These are built with bricks and mortar, the stereotypical house.
Non-Traditional Construction: This group includes timbre properties, steel framed properties, properties made of concrete.
Some traditional construction properties may use non-traditional materials in part, like houses with timbre roof beams. Ask your estate agent or the owner what the build is, as some lenders may be hesitant to agree on a loan on certain types of properties.
2 – The Boiler
As a first time buyer you’ll want to know how old the boiler is. Make sure you ask the owner or estate agent:
How old is the boiler? When was it last serviced?
If say a boiler is old but it has been serviced regularly (once a year), it may be good to go, but it can be expensive to replace a boiler. Best to have this knowledge so you will know if you need to spend the extra money – every little bit helps!
3 – Décor and Fixtures
This is along the same line of thinking as the boiler.
What is the seller leaving behind? If the house is a little more expensive than you had hoped, but you don’t need to spend the extra money on the fixtures they leave behind, it may be worth pursuing!
Ask them, take pictures, and work out what you would need to buy! As a first time buyer EVERY penny counts! This could lead to you saving a lot of money if you play your cards right!
Also, if they are leaving behind something that you don’t want this could cost you money to remove it!
The other side of the coin is – which features would you want to replace?
Are the kitchen tops not to your taste? Bathroom tiles a little ugly?
These are all expenses you’ll be paying down the line and may well be worth it! But you will need to know exactly what you are getting once the owner hands over the keys and you’re alone in your new property!
4 – The Electrics
Electricity. We know it, we love it, chances are your house uses it!
So, it only goes to reason you know what the electrics are like in the property. Ask how old the electrics are! Have a look at the fuse board. The fuse board will typically be tucked away in a cupboard, under some stairs, in a box somewhere – but the fuse box can be an excellent indication of how old the rest of the house’s electrics are.
Take plenty of pictures for reference, maybe even give an electrician a call to hear their opinion! You can never be too safe!
5 – Energy Efficiency
In today’s day and age, looking after our environment is everything. And luckily, we can help the effort by seeing how energy efficient a property is!
Property websites such as Rightmove and Zoopla have information coming directly from the property’s EPC (Energy Performance Certificate). Legally every property needs one, and it will tell you which efficiency band the property’s currently in, how efficient it can potentially be, and even ways to improve on how energy efficient it is!
If you visit epcregister.com, you will be able to see the full report, breakdowns on efficiency, and even how big the property is in square meters! If the property doesn’t have a certificate, get on the phone with your conveyancer.
The energy efficiency may not need to be a massive factor in your decision to buy a property, but knowledge is power and knowing how efficient it is may save you money in the long run fixing the place up to keep the heat in!
The important things for first time buyers
At the end of the day, the most important thing is does the property tick all your boxes. If you like it, you may want to bring family and friends over for a second viewing! If not, there are plenty more amazing properties out there! Keep on searching!
If you are moving and need help with your mortgage requirements, then give us a ring on 0801 551 807. Mortgage Squared are here to help you every step of the way!