Five things every first-time buyer should consider

The number of factors involved in purchasing a first home can feel overwhelming. Here RE/MAX London reminds first time buyers it’s important to check the basics.

While renting a property offers a tenant the luxury of selecting a home that meets their short-term needs, purchasing a home is a far larger commitment that requires more careful consideration. The importance of thorough research before purchasing a property can never be over-emphasized.

Here are five key things that every first-time buyer should consider as they begin the process of purchasing a property:

1) Is there the possibility for growth?

Most of the time, property is a medium to long-term commitment, therefore it is important to look for a property that can grow with your developing needs. If possible, search for a home that meets your current requirements with the potential to adjust to a changing household. It’s not an exact science because your five-year plan may not pan out as expected, but it is a good idea to consider the possible life changes that could occur and impact your need for an extra room or additional space.

The growth of your family is not the only growth that should be considered. Any property purchase is an investment, so it makes sense to ensure that the property has the potential for growth in value too. Adhere to the adage of location, location, location. Also, it’s worth checking area statistics and figures using sold prices to ensure that the home is purchased at fair market value. Doing these things will ensure that you can be as confident as possible that your investment will see capital appreciation over the long-term.

2) Remember to test the basics

While your first property may not have many luxury features, you need to ensure the basics are in good condition. The property should be thoroughly inspected to ensure that there are no hidden defects that could be costly to repair.

3) Everything has a lifespan

Along with identifying aesthetic and structural defects, it is important to look at features of the home that are currently in good condition but may need repair or replacing shortly. Everything has a lifespan and may require repairs at some stage, so look at the condition of features such as the roof and flooring. How long will it be until these need to be replaced? Researching the expected remaining life on large-ticket items, such as boilers, ovens and washing machines can help you plan for the future.

4) There is no perfect home, just the right home

It is possible that the first home you buy may not be in perfect condition but it’s important to make sure that it is the right home for you. Ensure you are buying the right home by prioritising the elements you can’t live without, nice-to-have aspects and the things you are willing to compromise. While an allocated parking space is nice to have, it may suit you more at this point to have an additional bedroom. The importance of each of the features will depend entirely on your tastes and needs.

5) Weigh up all the costs

Remember that it is not just the mortgage repayments that need to be budgeted for and considered. There are other recurring monthly costs involved in owning and maintaining a home. It is vital to choose a property that meets your budget regarding what the full living costs will be and not just the mortgage repayment. Key items to consider would be the cost of the utilities, council taxes, land rent and maintenance costs.

To help ensure you make the best decision for you, both  in terms of your happiness and potential return on investment, take the time to weigh up all the options available to you.

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