Buying a home is one of the most stressful experiences that you can have – and it can be a confusing process. You’ll often hear people offering their own opinion. All too often, though, it’s based on false assumptions or even an outright myth – and following this bad advice will only slow you down in the buying process.
Here are five of the most common home-buying myths that might just be holding you back from that perfect property. Can you guess which are true and which are false?
- Wait for spring to start your search – True or false?
FALSE – There are relatively quiet periods for the market over the course of the year – think August or December, when people are focused on preparing for the Christmas break – but that doesn’t mean that there’s any reason for you to hold off on your search during these times. A recent investigation by The Mirror found that more houses were sold in England and Wales in the summer than in spring for 8 of the past 11 years, and September, October and November have actually also proven very popular months.
- You need a deposit of as little as 5% in order to apply for a mortgage – True or false?
TRUE – People often overestimate how much money they’ll need to have saved before they can apply for a mortgage. In fact, there are many mortgages that are available at 5% to 10% of the value of the property you’re looking to buy. What’s more, research by Bellway found that while many people thought a £300K property would come with monthly mortgage payments of over £3,500 per month, it might cost you as little as £655 if bought using a government scheme like Help to Buy. You should remember, of course, that the property’s value is not the only cost that you’ll be facing – you’ll also have legal fees, conveyancing, surveys and tax to pay, as well as the cost of moving and any decorating that you might want to do.
- A good salary will get you a mortgage – True or false?
FALSE – Hold on! There are several other factors that you’ll need to consider such as the size of your deposit, your credit score and affordability stress testing. This is why it’s worth ironing out all the details and getting a mortgage in principle (a statement from a lender saying that they would lend you a certain amount of money to buy a home) before you start your house search, to save on any nasty surprises. You should also check your credit score, as this can have a huge impact on the deals mortgage lenders will be willing to offer you.
- Your estate agent will always get you the best deals – True or false?
FALSE – Estate agents will be more than happy to recommend mortgage brokers and solicitors to you – however, they won’t necessarily have your best interest at heart. It’s best to shop around to get a sense of how prices compare. You can use the FirstHomeCoach app to connect with trusted advisers for free, and save yourself lots time and hassle.
- Go with your gut – True or false?
TRUE – First impressions make a huge difference and if a seller hasn’t made an effort to tidy up or to show their home at its best, then there may be other hidden issues. However, if you turn down a property because of a messy front garden or an overflowing shoe rack, then you might well be missing out on the bigger picture and what might otherwise be a perfect home. What’s more, these superficial flaws might even get you a discount on the asking price! Before you buy, you should always get a survey though, as it will highlight if there are any actual issues with the structure – and everything else is just cosmetics.
Perhaps the most important thing to do when looking for a home is to keep asking questions. This is probably the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, so it’s worth getting things right. After all, the more information you have, the better placed you’ll be in any negotiation.
If you need any help figuring it all out FirstHomeCoach can be a priceless resource. Our app is designed to guide you through the entire house buying journey, step by step. We help you work out how much you can afford and all the costs involved in buying your dream home. You can connect with trusted advisers to assist with things like your mortgage, insurance and legal stuff, and also access all the information you need to better understand the whole process.
If you want to start reaping the benefits early on and help us change the future of home buying you can sign up to be a FirstHomeCoach beta tester now!