Buying with Lloyds of Watford
Many other agents websites (rightly) offer useful advice to potential sellers, tenants and landlords to assist them through the process. However few seem to offer the same guidance to potential buyers. Yet looking to buy a property can be a bewildering process, so here’s a few useful tips that should stand any buyer in good stead:
1. Do your sums
Before so much as stepping foot into a property, you should be aware of what your budget is. Assuming you need a mortgage, shop around. Speak to an independent mortgage advisor, bank or building society. They will be able to tell you how much you can borrow and what the repayments are likely to be. Also, don’t forget that in addition to your deposit, there are other costs involved with buying a property such as a survey/valuation fee, solicitors fee, and for residential properties over £125,000, Stamp duty. These all add up, so make sure you’ve budgeted accordingly.
Ok, so you’ve sorted out the finance. Now comes the fun bit, right?: Nosing round other peoples homes! You’ll probably have a fair idea of what type of property you’re after: size, type, condition and location (and if not, ask an agent what you can get for your budget). It’s good to have a ‘search criteria’, but try to keep an open mind. A good agent should, based on what you’ve told them you’re looking for, be able to suggest properties to you that initially you may not have considered.
3. Don’t be shy!...
We’d recommend viewing more than once, at different times (day, night, weekday, weekend) to get a good feel for the property and the immediate surroundings. I’ve yet to have a vendor offer potential buyers a ‘try before you buy’ period of residency, so stick your head up in the loft, walk down the bottom of the garden, check the water pressure of the shower (but don’t get in, we’d draw the line there) and if you want to know what the neighbours are like, you could accept the agents/sellers opinion, or alternatively knock on their door and say hello. Why not?
4. Making an offer....
So, you’ve seen your dream home; pictured yourself living there, the new décor, the summer barbeque. You’re ready to make an offer, but how much? There’s no definitive answer to this question, but it’s one we’re often asked. Do your research. There’s a wealth of information available on the internet that will enable you to see what prices other properties have achieved in the same area, if not the same road. But this will only give you part of the picture. Ask the agent for guidance, but remember; their primary objective should be to achieve the best price for their client, the seller.
If you'd like more advice on any aspect of the the buying process, or tips on househunting, please feel free to call us on 01923 230010. We'd be only to happy to help.