Unless you’re very lucky, buying a house is probably the biggest purchase you’re ever going to make. It’ll take you years to save up the cash for a deposit and then you’ll be paying off the mortgage for the better part of your life. Once you’ve signed that contract, that’s all of your money and if you’ve made a mistake, it’s going to be a long while before you can afford to move again. There are a lot of different people involved in the sale of a house and everybody is looking to get paid so it’s vital that you protect yourself. It can be daunting but help is out there. Here’s how to protect yourself and your money when you’re buying a property.
Use A Conveyancer
The paperwork is often the hardest part to navigate. Getting your head around all of that tricky legal jargon can be a nightmare if you don’t know what you’re talking about, and there’s going to be a lot of it. A conveyancer can help you deal with all of the nuts and bolts of the sale so it all goes through smoothly and you don’t get caught out by any tricky language in the contracts. There’s a lot of them out there so get some conveyancing quotes and have a look at the prices. It might be tempting to go for the cheapest option but remember, experience is worth paying for. Try to strike a good balance between price and expertise and you should be fine.
The price of the conveyancer and home inspections should already be part of your budget but if the sale falls through, you’ve lost that money and you’ll have to do it all over again once you find a new property. You can stop this from happening if you get house buyer protection insurance. If the sale doesn’t go through for any reason, all of those costs will be returned to you.
Don’t Trust Estate Agents
Estate agents are there for one reason, to sell that house and get their commission on it. I’m not suggesting that every single estate agent is an unscrupulous villain that will tell you bare faced lies about the property, but it’s not uncommon for them to bend the truth. Common tricks include telling you that they’ve got a lot of other offers, or saying that prices in the neighborhood are rising. The idea is to make you panic and sign the contract for a higher price without negotiation. Most of the time, they’re not telling the truth so you should always be cautious. It’s also not a good idea to tell them your highest possible offer right away. They’ll be likely to tell the seller who will then push the price higher if they know that you can afford it. Keep your cards close to your chest and don’t let the estate agent scare you into buying too early.
Choose The Right Solicitor
When you’re finding a solicitor there’s one question you should always ask; will they charge you even if the house sale doesn’t go through? If the answer is yes, walk away. There are solicitors out there that will only charge you if the house sale goes through. Always go with one of them so you don’t get stung when it all collapses.
Sort Your Credit Score
People that have a bad credit score offer a good opportunity to lenders because it means that they can immediately increase the rates on your mortgage. You aren’t likely to get a better deal anywhere else with a bad credit rating so you’ll just have to deal with it. Before you start looking for a place make sure that you’ve paid off all of your outstanding debts and not missed any payments on anything for a while. It’ll make it far cheaper to get a mortgage further down the line.
Don’t Get The Biggest Mortgage
When you go for a mortgage you’ll be told the highest possible amount of money that you can borrow. That doesn’t mean you should take it all though, you probably don’t need it. Decide how big you need the house to be before you get those numbers and don’t suddenly decide that you’ll go for 4 bedrooms instead of 2 just because the money is available. It just means that you’ll end up paying back a huge mortgage for extra space that you don’t really need anyway.
It’s important that you take these steps to protect yourself when you’re making the biggest purchase of your life or you could end up out of pocket.