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Tips for first-timers to follow

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: June 27, 2013

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BUYING a home is likely to be the most expensive purchase you'll ever make. Getting it right first time is essential.

These notes are designed to point you in the right direction but there is no substitute for talking to the professionals, be it mortgage adviser, estate agent or solicitor, who will be happy to help.

Certainly that is the case at Cardens so please call me, Colin Jarrett, sales manager on 01392 433866, if you need more advice.

How much can I spend?

Before doing anything else you must find out how much you can afford to pay. Unless the Bank of Mum and Dad are at hand, it is likely you will need a deposit and mortgage. Arrange to see an independent financial adviser, who will be able to review all the options available.

Factor in the costs

Don't forget to budget for solicitors' fees, stamp duty (if paying more than £125,000), purchase of furniture and removals. The ongoing costs will also need to be factored in – council tax, mortgage payments, insurance and utilities.

Where do I want to live?

Drive around, have a look and take into account local facilities, journey to work and public transport.

What type of property do I want?

Prepare a wish list with must have, nice to have and that would be a bonus items. Be prepared to make compromises but not on the important things, such as the number of bedrooms.

Appoint a solicitor

Get ahead of the game and appoint a solicitor early on. With your mortgage in place you are in a strong negotiating position. Be careful with cheaper online solicitors. Cheapest is not always best.

Contact the agents

Register online with Rightmove/Zoopla and make contact with local agents. Tell them what you are looking for and keep in regular contact.

Arrange viewings

Narrow down the properties you want to see and make arrangements. Keep notes as you go around to avoid confusion. Short list three and go back again. Decision time!

Put in an offer

You've found "the one". Don't panic. Put in a sensible first offer rather than a cheeky one which may offend. Be prepared to negotiate but know your ceiling. It's yours!

Arrange a survey

Get a Homebuyer's Survey, unless it is a new build, for peace of mind. You will get to see the report and know what, if anything, might be wrong. Forewarned is forearmed.

Move in

Contact utility companies in advance to switch supplies. Arrange building insurance from exchange of contracts. The keys are yours. Move in and be happy!

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