Essential advice for first-time buyers
The property market may have been challenging for many, but according to figures just released, there was a rise in first-time buyers in 2016, 335,750 to be exact according to the Halifax. Halifax state that low mortgage rates and high employment have been contributing factors to seeing the increase in first-time buyers rise to a number not seen since 2007. “Government schemes such as Help to Buy have improved affordability enabling more first-time buyers to buy their own property,” said Martin Ellis, Halifax Housing Economist.
If you’re thinking of taking that first step onto the property ladder in 2017, here are a few things you need to consider when buying an apartment.
You will be close to or have overcome your first hurdle in raising your deposit. But before you start your property search ensure you have extra in the pot to cover the additional expenses such as stamp duty, solicitors fees, removal costs, insurances and not to mention any appliances and furnishings you will need for your new home. Also bear in mind when you are doing your calculations that most apartments will have monthly service charges, these go towards the maintenance and upkeep of the building and communal areas.
When you buy a house you typically purchase the freehold, which means you own the land on which it sits. Buying an apartment is different, as you’re buying the leasehold of your apartment, in other words, you’re leasing the land from the freeholder for the duration of the lease agreement. Not all leases are straight forward, especially when you’re buying one of our city’s stunning period properties. It's therefore, beneficial to use an estate agent who is highly experienced in this field such as The Apartment Company. As we specialise in apartments we know how to navigate through what can often be a leasing minefield.
Keep an open mind
You may have dreamed about your first home for months, even years, therefore it’s easy to get fixated on this ideal. We know it’s not very sexy to say ‘be realistic’, but you need to be, what you can afford in one area will be out of your budget in another. Allow yourself to see apartments that are suggested by an estate agent, even it’s not for you, it will help to cement what is important in your property search. We often find that what a first-time buyer thinks they are looking for at the beginning of their search is very different to what they actually buy. At The Apartment Company, we understand your desire to find your dream home, and that we will do although it may be packed slightly differently to what you initially imagined.
You know you need a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal aspects of the sale. But what many people don’t realise is the importance of their choice and as a result, they fail to undertake the necessary research. The right solicitor and conveyancer will ensure nothing is missed, your purchase moves forward swiftly and smoothly and will also keep you informed at all times. We can recommend those professionals we have worked with over the years and who are well regarded by our clients.
Be prepared for a day filled with emotions, as you nervously wait for the monies to be transferred and you can finally collect the key to your new home. When packing, have a box with all the essentials you will need when you first arrive, from making that much-needed cuppa to the tools required for building any furniture, and maybe even a cheeky take out menu. Although chaos surrounds you start with your bed, that way at the end of an exhausting day you can sink into your freshly made bed and have a wonderful first night sleep in your very own home.
Being a first-time buyer can be a daunting experience but when you use an apartment specialist you will not only know, but also feel you’re in safe hands.