As you will know if you follow any of my social media channels, I bought a house and picked up the keys on Halloween so I’ve been here 3 months at the time of writing this. The whole process was the most exciting time of my life, but at the same time the most stressful. I’m going to do a YouTube video and a lengthy blog post explaining the whole process, however I thought for this post I would share some things that I encountered that they don’t tell you about. Some of these only apply to first time buyers however some of them are universal.
Free & Unbiased Mortgage Broker
Mortgage brokers do all the hard work for you, they will find what mortgage is most suitable for you (e.g. do they accept help to buy, self-employed) and will also explain the best deals available on the market. Some mortgage brokers are biased and will try to persuade their customers to go with a particular company (e.g. Halifax, Lloyds) as they receive added commission so you might not be getting the best deal out there. I used London & Country who were amazing, they’re not only unbiased but they also don’t charge for using their services, they receive a certain amount of commission from the mortgage provider you decide to go with but they are completely transparent about this and doesn’t effect the offers available to you. Their customer support is amazing and I can’t recommend them enough, they made the whole process a lot less stressful and were always more than happy to explain either by phone or email if I had any questions.
Help to Buy Scheme Loan Amount
I’m not going to go into too much the Help To Buy Scheme as this will be covered in another post where I will go into details all about this, but I just wanted to mention the loan amount. As long as your credit is good and you have nothing bad on your credit report, you can borrow a maximum of 5x you’re your earnings, unless you use the Help to Buy Scheme which is a maximum of 4.5x. Online calculator don’t normally take this into account so it’s worth figuring out yourself if you’re in the early stages of buying a house.
The majority of mortgage companies will offer cashback for new customers, this is normally around £500 and is definitely worth mentioning. If you do receive the cashback it can be a good idea to have this automatically come off your final solicitors’ bill, this is what I did and I’m so happy I decided too as there were a few additions on my final bill that I didn’t know about.
If you’re looking into buying a new build property you will most likely have to pay a yearly management fee to a management company. This is because the council doesn’t own the land that the development is on so you will have to pay this yearly fee which goes towards maintenance (e.g. landscaping, electricity for street lights). It’s normally about £150 – £200 but this can rise, just don’t worry too much about the horror stories that you sometimes hear about them going up crazy amounts, just be aware of this.
Parking Management Fees
This is another one to check, with my property I own the land for the garage and the parking space, however others which have their parking space in a car port have to pay a year management fee for this too. It’s just another expense that’s worth questioning, and you want to know if you own the land for your parking anyway.
That’s all the ‘hidden’ fees and information that I didn’t read online and only found out as I went through the process, so hopefully it will be helpful to you. I will be writing a blog post and filming a YouTube video explaining the whole of the house buying process which will have even more detail, however in the meantime if you have any questions you can always comment or send me a tweet!