I’m currently trying to navigate the financial maze that is buying a property, and there’s no doubt about it – it’s an expensive process! Not only is there the price of the actual house or flat to consider, but also the associated expenses like mortgage interest rates and fees, legal costs and insurance.
The good news is you can save money on all of these things by being a little savvy and doing your research. Check out the top tips I’ve learned along the way and see if they can help you too!
1) Compare, compare, compare
We’ve all had the importance of comparing prices and quotes drummed into us by now thanks to marketing campaigns by various comparison websites (including a certain meerkat), but it’s surprising how easy it is to forget this simple rule when you get swept up into the complications of buying a house.
If you need to obtain something that is provided by several companies, always take the time to research different prices and ensure you get the best deal. Whether it’s for buildings insurance (which most mortgages require you to have in place before completion), solicitors, surveyors or the mortgage itself, comparing costs will go a long way towards helping you save money.
2) Consult the experts
Even if you’re buying on your own, you’re not alone when it comes to dealing with the intricacies of property purchasing. A good mortgage broker can be invaluable when you need to find a home loan (that’s how I managed to locate one myself), and can also provide help with insurance.
This might be an especially suitable route to go down if you have any concerns about your ability to get a mortgage for, say, credit history reasons, as brokers have some clout with lenders and will work hard to get you an adequate deal.
Similarly, a financial adviser can assist you at the start of process by getting your finances in order and looking at specific issues like stamp duty charges for residential properties. A decent solicitor/conveyancer will also explain exactly what the legal side of things involves and keep you up to date with their work on your case.
3) Gauge your offer carefully
If you’ve read up on the process of buying a home already, you’ll probably have seen advice relating to putting in an offer on your dream property. I was quite surprised when I found out some people advocate going in as low as ten per cent under the asking prices, but it seems this is quite a common practice now the housing market is very much in the doldrums.
I think the wisest course of action is to assess whether the property is actually worth the asking price and then decide how much lower you want to go. To be honest, some homes are probably worth the price if they are in a good condition and hardly need any work (this was the case for me), but it’s best to research recent local sales and gauge the state of the house or flat anyway.
Going in lower can’t hurt; either the seller will accept and you’ve got yourself a bargain, or they won’t and you simply go back to them with a higher offer.
Have you bought a property and have some wise words to impart to fellow buyers? Let us know in the comments below.