According to the Nationwide House Price Index, house prices averaged £252,687 in November, which is a 0.9% increase month on month. With house prices continuing to rise, it’s crucial that buyers know the best time to make an offer and how to get the best deal on a property.
Here are six expert tips for anyone looking to buy a house in 2022.
1. Be prepared
The house buying process doesn’t start when you come across a property and contact the estate agent for a viewing. It starts weeks before you even find a house to purchase.
Of course, there might be a specific area you want to live in; research the area and even make physical visits on different days and times. If you find that it meets your needs, start looking at new listings and compare them.
As you do this, keep in mind that the true cost of buying a house comprises more than just the deposit and the mortgage. You need to account for costs like Stamp Duty, surveys, removals and solicitors.
2. Identify the best times to buy a house
Though the best time to buy a house will most likely depend on your personal circumstances, there are some particular times of year when houses are cheaper. Examples include during the winter months and during holiday periods. It’s wise to take advantage of such times.
3. Consider getting a mortgage in principle
A mortgage in principle acts as confirmation that a lender is willing to lend you a particular amount to buy a property. There are two main benefits:
- It shows the seller that you are a serious buyer, which can move you to the front of the queue in the buying process
- You get to know exactly what you can afford when looking for a suitable house
Ross Counsell, chartered surveyor and director at GoodMove, explains, “Working with a mortgage broker throughout the house buying process can help you understand which mortgages are best for you.”
4. Create a checklist before viewing properties
Viewing a property, especially one you like, carries some excitement. However, this can make buyers forget to perform necessary checks. It’s recommended to have a prewritten and well-thought-out checklist of things you want to confirm when you view the property.
5. Try to target houses under your budget
House prices are hitting record highs. And with high competition, some buyers are finding themselves making offers above the asking price.
It makes sense to look for houses slightly below your budget so that you have room to make an offer above the asking price and remain within your budget. If you manage to secure the property at or below the asking price, then you’ll have money left in your budget that you can put to good use.
6. Be patient and try to be flexible
We are already seeing stiff competition among home buyers. This can lead to poor decisions that only cause expensive mistakes down the line.
Ross Counsell recommends being patient and understanding that the home buying process takes time. Many things can go wrong, but it’s important to understand that even if a deal for a home you really wanted falls through, there will be others you’ll love just as much.
Ross also points out that it helps to be flexible and easy to work with, especially if you’re in a property chain. It makes the buying process easy, smooth and successful for everyone.
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