The idea of owning your very own home is an exciting but daunting thought – and there’s so much to think about before you even get to the point of making an offer.
For the past 50 years, aspc has enabled the house-hunting public to view properties for sale across the North East in just one, easy location.
In that time, its member solicitor firms have assisted countless first time buyers to take their first steps on, and move up, the property ladder.
As the acknowledged centre for local property, aspc has shared five vital pieces of information with us that anyone buying their first home should know.
1. Find a good solicitor
When you find the home that’s meant for you, you’ll want a solicitor to guide you through the process. It’s best to talk to a solicitor at the very start of the process.
With up to date information on the local property market and a wealth of professional advice concerning the purchase of a home, consulting a legal professional who has your best interest at heart will stand you in very good stead.
With a network of over 50 local solicitors, aspc can put you in touch with a local expert.
2. Save, save, save!
The initial sum needed to buy a home is, without doubt, one of the biggest stumbling blocks first time buyers face.
Securing a mortgage deal that’s manageable within a monthly budget can mean large deposits and some, particularly popular areas in North East, may require you to go in above asking price – an extra expenditure which, unfortunately, cannot be bundled in with your mortgage.
Speak to mortgage providers at the very start of the process. They will not only go through the best deals with you, but also help you figure out what you can feasibly afford, as well as what you should be saving. Speaking of which…
3. The 28% rule
Your mortgage payment will usually become the largest amount of money to come out of your bank account each month, so it makes sense to have a good grasp of what you can afford before you start looking at homes.
The 28% rule provides a good guide whereby your monthly mortgage payments do not exceed 28% of your monthly income. This will give you a good starting point in knowing what you can afford.
4. Navigating the fees
Legal fees, VAT, LBTT – they’re all the necessary costs that come with buying a home that first time buyers might not always be prepared for.
Speak to a trustworthy solicitor early in the process – they can break down everything you’ll need to pay, so that you don’t end up with hidden extras and surprises down the line.
You should be enjoying your new home, not worrying about the additional costs it brings.
5. Improve your credit rating
Mortgage lenders want to be sure that you can afford your monthly payments and you’ll stick to the payment schedule they set out for you.
Your credit rating could mean the difference between moving into the home you really want, or significantly lowering your expectations to buy a home that you can get a mortgage on.
There are a number of things you can do to improve your credit score that you may not have considered before.
Make sure you’re registered to vote at your current address. Apply for a credit card, spend modestly and pay off the full balance each month. These are all good indicators that you are a trustworthy borrower.
These tips give just a taste of the valuable knowledge and advice that you can tap into when you use an aspc member firm for everything property related.
Extending this service even further, aspc recently launched its series of Ask the Expert events, held in their property centre at 40 Chapel Street, Aberdeen.
The next event in this series speaks specifically to first time buyers.
Taking place on Saturday 23 November at aspc, the event will feature informative and interactive talks from Sarah-Louise Hay, Mortgage Consultant at Raeburn Christie Clark & Wallace; Andrew Sykes, Partner at Shepherds Chartered Surveyors; and Dan McFarlane, Solicitor for Raeburn Christie Clark & Wallace.
To book your free place, and find out all you need to know about buying your first home, visit the ASPC Facebook page.