[This is a guest post, relating to buying a house in the UK]
When looking at buying a house you are bound to have a variety of questions that you need answers to before you make any decisions, particularly in a time of fluctuating prices in the housing market. Here we are going to have a look at a few of them and give you some insight on the right things to ask and possibly a few answers along the way as well.
Some of the questions you have are likely to arise around the Help to Buy schemes that you are sure to have been bombarded with advertising material about. One of these might well be ‘Am I more likely to get a mortgage because of the scheme?; the short answer is it still depends on how much deposit you have to put down, the affordability of a mortgage and of course your personal circumstances and credit history. There will be more lenders offering high loan-to-value mortgages which will make these products more competitive to applicants. One of the best ways to ensure you are getting the very best mortgage available to you is to use a whole of market mortgage broker offering free advice. This way the entire selection of deals available on the market will be searched for you completely free, so you don’t lose out on any application fees.
Are property prices going to spiral out of control because of this scheme may be another concern and whilst we are likely to see increases short term this should slow and eventually level off as the initial rush calms down. If you are looking at a property that hasn’t sold within around 6 weeks and yet has been well advertised, and most importantly has no discerning feature that would be putting people off buying it then chances are it is overpriced within it market segment. One great way of ensuring you are making an appropriate offer on a property is to use property price services such as Right Move and examine the data available asking questions such as, has the property recently been sold? What have other similar properties on the same street been sold for? How long has the property been on the market? Have there been any price reductions for this particular property?
What happens if I miss out on a house to a higher bidder? Unfortunately this does happen and it is first and foremost a case of picking yourself and start again but most importantly be more prepared for the next time round. Doing your research and making sure that your bid is aimed at the right level for the market in which the property is standing, and top of your list should be promoting yourself. Do you have a solicitor instructed, let them know your mortgage finances, timescales on when you could complete, all of these may make you more of an attractive buyer than someone offering a few thousand more although they come with a chain that will mean a longer sale.
These are just a highlight of the different questions and hopefully a few solutions that you will come across but the answer that comes up most often is that you need to prepare yourself for what is ahead and make sure that you thoroughly research into the market before making any offers to ensure the best results.