Buying a home is quite simply, the largest purchase you will most likely make. It is important to know what you are doing in order to get the best deal that you can. You can if you know what you are looking for get a great deal on a home in this market, you just need to know what you can do and what you can avoid to make that happen.
Before looking at homes to buy take stock of your current financial situation. Look at the level of your current debt, look at the stability of your income, and decide on the amount of house you can afford before you get your heart set on a home that is too expensive for your budget.
Get pre-qualified for your mortgage before heading out to look at the market. A good lender will help steer you away from making a decision that you won't be able to afford. They will look at your income, debt, and the state of the market to help make recommendations for just how much house you should be looking for.
find a good local estate agent that you can work with when buying a home, you should ask all of the ones you talk to exactly what sort of plan they would develop to find you a home, some will put you on their mailing list so that you will be the first to know when a new property comes on to the market. Some simply drive you around showing you anything until you finally find one you like, do they have a process that does not waste either your time or theirs.
If you are confident in making your own decision about your property, such as location, condition, exterior color, garden and parking you perhaps don't need to rely on the estate agent as much however it is a good idea to build up a good raport and relationship so that they can tip you off when a good deal is to be had.
When you are considering a leashold flat or apartment you should look into the different rules that the leasehold association has in place and if you would want to abide by them. Some could be as strict as telling you what you can and can't do including watering your grass, or what your lawn has to look like, there will also be a service charge and ground rent to pay in addition to your monthly mortgage repayments, check to see if the buildings insurance is included in the service charges. By looking into this, you will know if you actually want to deal with an association based on how strict they are.
A flat or apartment may look an attractive proposition but with all the extra payments, the restrictions and its a fact that flats and apartments are harder to sell, mortgage lenders also require a minimum of 50 years to be remaining on any lease so bare this in mind for the future.
If possible always try to buy a freehold property which means you own everything and can do as you please ( within reason ) ! the proviso being check if the property is a listed building or if it is situated in a conservation area because again restrictions will apply.
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