Young, fun and ready to own – what I learned about buying a home.
Buying a house was truly one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my life – but it was also incredibly empowering and educational. Now that I have gone through this process, I really feel like I learned a lot about not only the British property market, but also about the things that are important to me.
I wanted to take this time to share with you, my readers, a little bit about the process so that when you are ready to buy a house you can learn from my experience. Here is a short list of things that I discovered about buying a home in the UK.
1. Unexpected costs – From Stamp Duty to Mortgage Arrangement Fees, I felt like I was being hit with unexpected costs from all sides. Every time I thought that I was finished paying the myriad charges that arose, there was a new litany of fees lobbied my way. I’m no expert, and I don’t want to detail every fee here on my blog as the list would go on and on, but my biggest piece of advice for any prospective home buyer is to print out this list of first time buyers fees and study it ad nauseum! Heck, even post it on the fridge and stare at it every day – these fees need to be budgeted for in advance in order for you to not panic when they arise.
2. The different types of mortgages – I must admit, I was clueless about the countless different combinations of mortgage options available to first time buyers in the UK. The three different types of mortgages are: Repayment, Interest-only and Endowment. Once you select a mortgage type, you also need to determine which interest repayment rate scheme is best for your needs: variable, fixed, capped, cash back deals and discounted. If all of this has your head spinning, you aren’t alone – check out this very informative BBC article that does a good job of explaining the differences.
3. The importance of a good credit score – Ultimately, your credit score is going to go a long way in determining what kind of mortgage – and what kind of house –you are going to be eligible for when the time comes to buy. Check your credit score: https://www.creditexpert.co.
uk/advice/credit-score as soon as possible, and if it is not a good score, you should start working on improving it immediately. My good credit score really went a long way in helping me qualify for the homes and mortgages that I wanted, and it was one less thing to worry about during this process.
4. You need to have a good lawyer – My dealings with my lawyer were a pivotal part of the home buying experience – without good legal counsel, you will be floundering on your own. Try to find a lawyer who comes recommended by a trusted friend, colleague or family member, and remember to factor their fees into your budget.
Now that I am happily settling into my new place, I wish the same for all of you, my dear readers. Good luck – and good finances!
* Collaborative Post.