Here’s the scenario.
You are about to buy your first house. It’s just perfect for you… And now your offer has been accepted, you can’t wait to move ahead with the purchase.
Who is responsible for paying for the survey on the property?
You – or the current house owner?
If you’ve bought a house before, you’ll probably remember: As the buyer, you are responsible for the survey fee.
But a lot of first-time buyers don’t realise this – a staggering 36%, according to a survey by Really Moving.
And that’s not the only misunderstanding.
The same survey shows that 37% of first-time buyers think that “exchange” is the day when they move into their new house…
...And 40% had no plans to secure a mortgage in principle before making an offer on a property.
Buying a house can be very complicated, confusing and time-consuming – particularly if you’re doing it for the first time.
Now, I’m way past that point – I bought my first house over 25 years ago, and probably won’t move again any time soon. But when I look at my children, I expect they’ll need quite a lot of support to get through their first purchase.
I’m not talking about finances – that’s an entirely different matter - but help navigating the process.
And if you have children who are at that stage, they might be able to use support, too.
You see, we have had several first-time buyers recently in our office, and it’s noticeable how much time and effort they have had to invest to make it happen.
Take one of our talented trainee paraplanners in Oxford.
He’s spent the last five years planning to buy.
“There’s a lot of noise,” he told me, “Doom and gloom in the media about how young people are being priced out of the market and debt levels are rising. I had to ignore that and focus on my personal goal.”
He created a spreadsheet to track earnings and spending so he could start saving for a deposit.
But it wasn’t easy:
“I researched bank accounts and interest rates – they were not as straightforward as I thought! When researching products like ISAs, I realised they’re complicated, with so many products for me to learn about.”
Since he worked for a bank at the time, his colleagues gave him advice about savings products.
And after earning his Investment Management Certificate, he was able to identify particular ISAs and government schemes, which helped him and his partner accumulate interest and bonuses which they could put towards their first house.
His case is unusual because he worked in banking, had colleagues to advise him and was very savvy about investments.
But what if your children don’t have that level of financial background and knowledge… or the drive to do all that research?
Then there’s all the steps they need to take once they’ve identified the right house --
Picking and securing the right mortgage…
Dealing with the solicitors, surveyors, estate agents…
Proving their income – which can be complicated if they are self-employed…
The task list feels endless and exhausting.
Going it alone can be the most stressful and overwhelming way to approach it.
And sometimes, it can lead to real problems – for example, if they apply for a mortgage without a true understanding of their financial position first and are continually rejected, they could see their credit rating affected, or miss out on a house altogether.
If you have children, you don’t want them to make these mistakes… (Particularly if you are helping them with a deposit, and some of your money is at stake!)
The smart approach is to seek good counsel from experienced experts.
Did you know that we offer an end-to-end service for both first-time-buyers and existing home owners?
Your situation may feel unique to you, but we’ve seen it before! Years of experience means you get qualified, impartial advice during the buying process.
Not only can we work with you or family members, long-term, to plan your finances so that you can build up a deposit…
…We can help you find and apply for the right mortgage. While individual lenders are restricted by the products they offer, we can explore any mortgage on the market.
Best of all…?
We can help you manage the entire process, giving you guidance on what needs to be done, when.
And if you (or your family members) are tied up with work or other responsibilities, we can even speak to your solicitor, surveyor or estate agent – driving the process forward and taking the stress off your hands.
Buying a house for the first time can feel intimidating – but it doesn’t have to.
A good advisor can help you make the right financial decisions, and make the house buying process as smooth as possible.
Get in touch.
PS. If you got my question about the survey right, I have another quick Q for you in my next email – and this one’s harder! Watch out for it…
Your home is at risk if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other loan secured on it.