Key things to consider when buying a new home
Buying a new home is one of the biggest financial commitments anybody can make, and it pays to do your research early on and figure out the costs involved at every stage. One of the first things to think about is your deposit – if you’re a first-time buyer, this is likely to be up to 20 per cent of the value of your house, which can take years to save up for depending on where you live.
In general, due to higher savings rates and lower house prices, buyers in the North of England will be saving for the least amount of time at an average of 10.4 years. Meanwhile, buyers in the Greater London area – where average prices are nearly three times higher – have a much longer wait at 19.6 years, according to research by savings website InvestorBee.
Wherever you live, it makes sense to start saving as early and as much as possible if you’re keen to get things moving. Bear in mind that while your deposit will probably be the biggest lump sum involved in the transaction, there are many more things to consider: solicitors’ fees, repairs, redecorating and home insurance, to name a few. While everyone’s circumstances are different, it’s fair to say that buying a house almost always costs more than you planned for!
It’s important to get the right survey for the house you’re buying – a homebuyer’s report usually costs between £300 and £400 and is suitable for properties less than 50 years old. Older residences may require a full structural survey, which cost around twice as much but are invaluable for detecting problems like damp or structural instability that could cost you dear in home insurance premiums later down the line.
An electrical inspection is also well worth carrying out – if the expert decides that the property needs rewiring, this could cost you thousands. While the job will still need to be done when you move in, it’ll give you a bit more bargaining room with the current owner and you may be able to knock a couple of grand off the asking price.
Take the time to arrange the best deal you can with Castle Cover buildings and contents insurance and other essentials for your house, and suddenly you’ll find yourself with that much more cash to spend on other things. Buildings insurance is not, as many think, a legal requirement for owning a home, but most mortgage providers expect you to have a policy. Getting your buildings and contents insurance with the same provider is also often cheaper than getting them separately.
When it’s time to move into your new house, consider whether your furniture will all fit in or if it would be better to sell or give away some of your stuff. By taking less, you’ll be able to move in faster and at a lower cost. Don’t feel obliged to stick with the previous occupant’s gas and electricity suppliers – by shopping around and comparing deals online, you can save a packet in those crucial first few months.