On paper, buying a property adds up to a relatively simple process. In reality, it typically turns out to be nothing of the sort. With dozens of equally important considerations to factor in, it’s common for at least one or two things along the way to go overlooked.
So for those planning ahead or already in the process of buying a property, here’s a quick ten-point checklist covering the most important things not to miss:
1. Establish Your Goals
First up, you need to think carefully about why it is you’re buying a property. A stepping stone to a larger home? An investment to make money long-term? The intention to eventually let your property out to tenants? Carefully consider tomorrow, not just today.
2. Consider Your Budget
In addition, you’ll need to be realistic with how much you can spend. This means factoring in deposit requirements, interest rates, potential overall borrowing costs and so on. Don’t make the mistake of stretching your finances to breaking point – you may live to regret it.
3. Explore Funding Options
Remember that there are countless funding options to explore beyond typical High Street mortgages. Examples of which include bridging finance (aka bridging loans), development finance and a variety of specialist secured loans for property purchases.
4. Research the Market
80% of a property’s current and future value may be determined by its location alone. Even if you’re completely blown away by the property itself, careful market research should be carried out before making any important decisions.
5. Find the Right Property
In addition, the intended purpose of the property will determine whether or not it’s the right property for you. If you’re planning to rent out or sell your property, you need to consider the requirements, preferences and expectations of those who will be living there, as opposed to your own.
6. Enlist Support
Expert support should be sought from the earliest possible stage, in the form of an independent broker or financial adviser. This will help steer your decisions in the right direction and provide access to the best funding options on the market.
7. Remain Objective
Don’t let your emotions get the better of you – try to make your property purchase decisions objectively and strategically.
8. Seek Pre-Approval
Rather than wrecking your credit score with failed applications, it’s good to seek pre-approval where possible. Again, an independent broker can help determine your eligibility, prior to formalising your application for funding.
9. Plan for the Unexpected
Carefully consider whether you’re in a strong enough financial position to weather any eventuality that may come your way. Circumstances often change quickly and without warning – are you confident you can keep up with your repayment obligations long-term?
10. Be Patient
Last but not least, it can be tempting to dive head-first into a property purchase after finding your perfect home. Unfortunately, rushing things can be a recipe for disaster. Take your time, consider your options carefully and listen to the advice of your independent adviser. It could be the most important decision you ever make – it’s not the time to be making rushed decisions.