Five common mistakes first time buyers should try to avoid

Buying a home is one of the most exciting and self-affirming life experiences but it can also be one of the most stressful. Martin & Co can help you stay one step ahead.

Martin & Co has put together some of the most frequent mistakes that first time buyers continue to make to help you avoid them.

1. Becoming financially stranded before you even begin

Familiarise yourself with potential hidden costs and factor them into your budget. Your deposit is just the start, think about mortgage arrangement and valuation fees, removal and storage costs, legal fees, Stamp Duty, home insurance and surveyor fees. Always have a contingency fund. Planning ahead eliminates nasty surprises. Also, be careful not to borrow too much by chasing your dream home. Committing to just an additional £150 a month is a long-term decision that will affect your lifestyle. Don’t run before you can walk and only borrow what you can truly afford.

2. Being too ‘green’ and not doing your research

Arm yourself with facts. This will make the process easier, especially when it comes to negotiation, which you should not be afraid of.

Unrealistic expectations are frequently dangerous to first time buyers: there’s always flexibility but don’t expect a mansion on a small budget… and if you find one, be very dubious!

Research your preferred area for price trends and its ambience at different times of the day. The quiet, leafy side-street could also be the bustling main walkway to the nearby football stadium on a weekend. To research what other local properties have been sold for, click here.

3. Failing to conduct structural surveys

The period features you so dearly love come with age, which means that the house around it will have aged too. Period properties require specific – and often constant – maintenance to remain beautiful and safe. Know exactly what you’re getting yourself into and get the most extensive structural survey you can afford. In the long run, it is so often a false economy to skip a survey.

4. Letting your heart rule your head

It will be your home for a long time but it will be an investment for longer. We don’t know what the future holds but we do know things change. Don’t let your emotions take over when buying a home and don’t pay over the odds for your dream home, it could be dead money.

An expanding family or relocation could mean you need to sell up in years to come. And if you do, you want to be confident in your initial decision. Know your potential resale value – check with your local council for planned transformation schemes that could add value to the area or indeed risk reducing the value.

5. Relying too heavily on the internet

Never underestimate the power of face-to-face interaction. Pop into your local estate agents’ offices for advice on valuations. To find one in your area, click here. Also, visit your bank or a mortgage adviser to see which deals you’re eligible for when buying a home. Their knowledge is invaluable to first time buyers and they are likely to suggest financial products that failed to display across online generators.

That said, the internet can be an invaluable search tool. Most websites and property portals such as allow you to register for property updates. This is vital in keeping you up-to-date with the latest properties that match your search criteria. To sign-up for an instant property alert at, click here.

If you have any questions, contact your local Martin & Co branch today, where local experts will be happy to give free and solid advice, always.

Content provided by is for information purposes only. Independent and professional advice should be taken before buying, selling, letting or renting property, or buying financial products. Sign Up For a Property Alert

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