Purchasing a new home, whether you're a first time buyer or already on the ladder, can be a daunting process. Not only are you committing to a big investment, but the process itself can be complicated and incredibly stressful.
Arranging your finances
Before you begin to look for your new home, you'll need to take some advice regarding a mortgage and find a solicitor. There are various types of mortgages available, with payment terms and interest rates varying from bank to bank, so it could take some time to find the best option. Once you have a mortgage secured, you'll know exactly what budget you're working with. The next step is to find a conveyancer; this is the solicitor who will transfer legal ownership of your new home. Get quotes and select a conveyancer well in advance; that way you'll feel less stressed when the time comes to drawing up contracts.
Compiling your search criteria
With a budget in mind, you can begin to figure out what you want from a property. No doubt you'll have an idea of the size and number of bedrooms you require, but would you be willing to sacrifice space if the location was just right? Be prepared for the reality that you may have to compromise on some of your 'must-have' features in order to get a property to meet your budget.
Registering with estate agents
Although it's not compulsory to register with an estate agent, it can help you to hear about properties as soon as they come onto the market. It also takes the pressure off a little; rather than spending hours trawling the internet and newspapers for homes which match your criteria, an estate agent can do this for you and get in touch when suitable houses are available.
Finding the perfect property
Houses can move quickly; it is crucial that you can make yourself available for viewings at short notice to ensure you don't miss out. If you put a viewing off for just an extra day, another buyer could come along and put in an offer and you may have lost out on the perfect home. Clear your diary as much as possible and be prepared to move commitments around to make time for viewings.