Preparation for the process of purchasing a property can be broken down into two basic categories – Emotional Preparation and Professional Preparation. For the second category, the following paragraphs will act as a guide, but you should also prepare for the emotional impact. Every purchase is a roller-coaster of emotions which, if all goes right, will finish on the high of you finding your perfect home. In the meantime, however, there are rocky roadways and blind alleyways to be negotiated; all the more reason you need to work with people who listen and understand.
List & Prioritize Objectives
Whether you’re buying a home on your own or with your Significant Other, you need to begin by clarifying your thoughts and putting them down on paper. Everyone has different priorities. What are you looking for? Is the first priority one of price? Is it one of space? Is it a precise location? Do you need to be near a school or a school bus route? Do you need a parking space or will you be using a bicycle or public transport? Do you wish to be within walking distance of a shop or a pub or a public park?
Make a list of the important elements and then number them, putting the most important priority first. Your plans and priorities will evolve and change as you go through the process of finding the right place. It may even end up leading you to buy a completely different home from the one you imagined at the beginning of the process. It doesn’t matter, but what does matter is to have a plan before you begin.
Have a Team you Can Trust
When looking at properties and considering the ones to buy, you need help. Trust is probably the most important element in this process.
This is true for the legal advisor you choose as it is for the surveyor or handyman that might help you to look over a property you’re considering with a professionally wary eye. It’s also true of the auctioneering firm you choose. As stated above, purchasing a home is already a stressful experience and you need to have people around you who will reduce the stress, not increase it.
Have your Homework Done before Making an Offer
When purchasing in the normal manner (i.e. by private treaty), it’s best to first know precisely what you’re buying. This means ensuring that the structure is sound and that there are no unexpected legal problems with the title. By having your solicitor and engineer have a look over the property, you will be properly informed and will be able to bid accordingly. If the house will need re-roofing or re-wiring within a short period, for example, you need to measure such costs and take them into account.
Have your Finance in Order
For the vast majority of people, buying a property means buying using the services of a mortgage lender. Ensure that you have a written letter of offer from the lending company so that you are clear on your budget. Also bear in mind that all mortgage companies put a time limit on their offers so make sure that you’re aware of that too.
If you are using savings for part of the purchase, ensure that there are no unexpected delays in getting access to your money by checking with your bank.
For both buyer and seller, there’s nothing more frustrating than agreeing on a price only to then find that the deal is unduly delayed due to finance not being in place.