Winter is never the best time to sell a house. It’s cold and wet, people don’t want to venture out in the miserable weather to view houses and, even if they do, it is often too dark to really appreciate a property. Add into this the financial pressures of Christmas and the property market, as a whole, tends to go into shutdown over the winter period.

However, as soon as the New Year begins, the days get longer and lighter and people start looking at what the market has to offer. Exteriors are given a lick of paint, gardens mown and manicured and carpets steam cleaned. Many a day is spent clicking through one of the many property websites, searching for the ideal house to turn into a dream home. So, if you are looking for a home, now is the time to get cracking and get a head start on the springtime house hunters. That’s why, at The Insurance Emporium, we’ve put together a list of handy hints for first time home buying!

Deposit Is Key

The larger your deposit then the lower your monthly repayments. It will also affect the amount that you will be able to borrow from your mortgage provider, meaning that you might be able to buy a larger house or look in a different area to where you were expecting. It could be worth having a look at your outgoings to see where you can make savings and many people ask parents or family to help them out. Also, have a look at the first time buyer schemes introduced by the government, such as Help To Buy, under which you can buy a new home using a deposit of just 5%. You can also take advantage of a Help To Buy ISA, a savings account where the government will match a proportion of whatever you pay in, to help you save quicker.

Get Your Figures Straight

When buying your first house, you can tend to lose the concept of the value of money. The figures you’ll be discussing will be so mind-bogglingly huge that they completely disconnect you from real life. But there is no need to become baffled by numbers. Treat them as you would planning your monthly shop, just with a few more zeros on the end! When you are offered your mortgage in principle, the total amount you could borrow may well be a lot higher than you expected. At this point, you need to work out exactly what you can afford to repay each month. Bear in mind that once you are a homeowner, you could face unexpected expenses so you don’t want to overstretch your finances.

Be patient!
Once your offer has been accepted, the next stage can be a lengthy process. If you are part of a chain, relying on other people, their estate agents and their solicitors can take anything up to six months or even longer. Even if you are not part of a chain, although completion can take as little as four to six weeks, you are more than likely looking at an eight to twelve week wait. Everything initially goes quite quickly. Surveys and searches can be passed and returned within a couple of weeks, but after that you can feel like everything goes quiet. There is very little update on progress so it’s here you need to remain patient! There are plenty of things you can occupy your time with. Go out and get quotes for any work you want done, pick colour schemes and browse new furniture. This should be exciting not worrying!

Planning is everything

It is quite often said that moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do in life, after losing a loved one and getting divorced. Having said that, there are lots of ways that you can make the process simpler; you don’t want to spend the entire time pulling your hair out and arguing with your nearest and dearest. The best way to do this is to be prepared. During the slower periods of finalising the sale, use the down time to begin packing. Label up boxes, draw up a battle plan so you know what is going where and in what order and look at removal firms or van rental. The more organised that you are on the big day, the more that you can try and avoid stress.

Enjoy it!

The whole process of buying a house can be time-consuming, physically draining and emotionally exhausting. You’ll find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, your mind swamped by thoughts of tracker mortgages, completion dates and kitchen knockthroughs. In and amongst that there are financial worries as well as the more every day stuff like going to work and looking after the kids. There is so much going on that it can be easy to forget the key thing – it’s really exciting! This is one of the biggest things you’ll do in your life, you can shape your home to reflect your personality and it will be somewhere you can build your life so make sure you enjoy it! Take pictures of the house when you first move in, one day when everything is sorted and you’re well settled you’ll enjoy looking back on those hectic first days!

Many mortgage providers insist upon home insurance before the exchange of contracts. Make sure your first adventures in your new house are protected with a choice of 3 different types of home insurance*. Stop by The Insurance Emporium today and find out more!

* The Insurance Emporium home insurance is administered and arranged by Insurance Factory Limited. Insurance Factory Limited are an insurance intermediary and not an insurer.


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