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Six tips for first-time buyers

Buying your first home can be a daunting task, but preparing in advance can help you to sidestep some common problems.

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Set a budget

Apart from knowing how much you’re likely to be able to borrow, and how much you will need for a deposit, there are many fees to consider. As a first-time buyer, you might be able to avoid stamp duty if you buy below the threshold but there are legal, mortgage and survey fees to consider. At a minimum, save an extra £2,500.

Find a solicitor

You’ll need a solicitor for contract work, such as for advice, searches, Land Registry work and to handle the transfer of funds. When you ask for quotes, always ensure that everything is covered. The seller’s estate agent will recommend a solicitor but cheap conveyancing can often be a false economy, and you must use someone certified by the Law Society, Solicitors Regulatory Authority or Council for Licensed Conveyancers.

Pay attention to detail

Just like applying for a passport, mistakes on forms can cause a delay. Apart from taking your time to avoid mistakes, always complete them honestly as any incorrect information could cause huge legal problems for you in the future. If there’s anything you’re not sure about, ask your solicitor for advice –

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Be patient

Prepare for a long wait, and for hiccups. It’s difficult not to worry when the conveyancing process takes a long time, but it’s completely normal. Any extra work and enquiries just ensure that you don’t get any nasty surprises later on, and some are required by law. Mortgage arrangements also take some time, and don’t worry if moving dates change, this happens all the time. It’ll be worth it!

Keep communicating

There’s nothing wrong with checking in with your estate agent, mortgage provider and solicitor if things go quiet. Keep your phone on – and charged – and keep checking your email.

Be satisfied

As a first-time buyer, it’s not always clear when to push. Always ask your solicitor if there’s anything you think could be improved, and do this as early as possible. If, for example, something comes up in your survey that you would like to renegotiate on, it will be more likely that they can resolve any issues to your satisfaction if you bring it up earlier in the process.


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Henry Doe is a seasoned DIY enthusiast and home improvement, blogger. With over 10 years of experience in renovating his own home, he has honed his skills in carpentry, plumbing, and electrical work. Henry's passion for creating beautiful and functional living spaces has led him to share his knowledge and experiences with his readers through his blog, "Home Sweet Home DIY." His goal is to inspire and empower homeowners to tackle their own home projects, big or small. When he's not hammering and sawing, you can find Henry hiking in the mountains or sipping on a latte at his local coffee shop.