1 – Know your budget
First things first, find out how much you can borrow from a mortgage provider before starting your hunt for your first house in London.
They will assess your household income and the size of your deposit and give you a figure. The amount will vary between providers, as will interest rates so it is worth shopping around.
A good place to start would be speaking to a mortgage broker such as Home of Mortgages as they will find you the best deal rather than you searching yourself.
2 – Be flexible
It’s important to not get too attached to a certain area, street or house. This is easy to do if you have been renting there and have got to know the area, grew up there or have friends and family local. However, buying a house there may be out of your budget – so always consider your options.
When looking at different areas, think about things such as your commute to work and take in to account your estate agents suggestions. If you find a house you like, a good idea is to knock on the neighbours door and ask them what they think of the area. They are more likely to be honest than the seller!
3 – Buy what you can
As most people know, the property market in London is extremely fast moving in comparison to areas outside of the capital.
Turnover is a lot quicker, with people living in their first property for a few years, but not their entire life. If you are taking your first step up the property ladder, don’t be disheartened if it’s not where you see yourself growing old.
Buy somewhere you like and can afford, as this will allow you to buy your dream home when the time is right.
4 – Consider the commitment
Although moving in with someone is a big deal, buying a house with them is an even bigger one. Buying property requires legally binding contracts and selling up is not that simple.
If you are buying your property with a partner, friend of family member make sure you are both aware of the long-term commitment that it entails and have a plan set in place for if the property was to be sold.
5 – Be prepared for additional costs
One thing that is often overlooked is the additional costs when purchasing your first home in East London or anywhere else. Things such as stamp duty and solicitors fees have to paid before you complete on your property purchase, so make sure you have the money liquid and available as well as your deposit.
Stamp duty has been abolished for first-time buyers completing on a property up to £300,000, and anything between £300,000 and £500,000 is also now at a lower rate, helping you get on the property ladder.
6 – It can be a slow process
If only it were as simple as putting an offer in, having it accepted and moving in! Unfortunately this is not the case and there are many things involved that can affect the speed of your move.
If you’re in a chain then you are relying on other people to keep to the deadlines. This can stop things running smoothly, as you have to factor in everybody else’s solicitors, surveyors and local searches too.