Buying a home, whether it be your 1st or 21st, is an exciting, if not exhausting time!
It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the opportunities to buy there are the Island, however your friends at Quinn Legal have pulled together some top tips to make sure you find the best property for your personal circumstances.
Your budget has to be the starting point when considering buying a home.
The best strategy is to have your deposit ready to go. The amount of deposit you need will depend on your mortgage lender. Some lenders will ask for a higher deposit than others, but usually the minimum needed is 5-10% of the property price.
Obtaining a mortgage decision in principle before you make an offer on a property puts you in a strong position as it indicates to the seller that you are ready to proceed without delay and that you are a serious buyer. The mortgage application process can take some time, so it is worth dealing with this as soon as you decide you are ready to start looking for a home.
Remember there are numerous other costs involved in buying a property including search fees and the Land Registry’s charge for registering your ownership.
As well as arranging a mortgage decision in principle, you should also line up a solicitor to act on your behalf in the purchase. If you find someone in advance of making an offer, then as soon as your offer is accepted you will be able to give the estate agent the lawyer’s details so that the seller can send the contract documentation and property information to them as soon as it is available.
Once you have an idea of how much you can borrow and how much the related costs are going to be, you’ll be on great footing to decide your budget!
You’ve heard it before; “Location, Location, Location!”
It’s arguably the most important thing to look for when you’re on the hunt for a new home. The definition of a great location is unique to everyone; do you want a bustling environment with shops, bars and restaurants? Or do you want tranquility, a place to get away from it all?
There’s no right or wrong answers, but make sure to consider all the practicalities of any potential location.
Other things to think about
- Is the local school well rated?
- Can I walk to the shops if I need some groceries?
- Are there good transport links?
- How long is the commute to work?
- What are the people like in the local area?
- Are there green spaces nearby?
How much room do you and your family (or future family!) need to live in comfortably?
The answer to this will depend entirely on your circumstances; maybe you’re a busy single-professional who needs somewhere cosy and low maintenance, a newly married couple looking for a home to build a family in, or you’re retiring and want to downsize.
Ideally the home you choose should be flexible to your ever-changing needs, but always consider the potential resale value should your needs outgrow your house.
Everything about a home, from the building materials to the fixtures and fittings, determine how nice a home will be to live in.
Practicality and functionality are the main things to consider if you want to avoid having to do serious levels of work prior to moving in. Try and minimise the effect taste has on your final decision, positively or negatively. Remember that paint and wallpaper is easy to change, bricks and mortar are not!
By preparing for the purchase of a house or flat before you start searching you are giving yourself the best possible chance of buying your dream home once you find it. You can also make sure that any hitches are sorted out beforehand, for example, by providing all the documentation a mortgage lender requires.
In a sought-after area such as the Isle of Man, advance preparation is essential to put you in the running in a competitive marketplace.
At Quinn Legal we help our clients from day one
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