When you first set out on the road to buying a property it can seem like a daunting experience. From researching the areas you might want to live in, to deciding how much to bid once you find a property that you love, the whole process can seem a little overwhelming.
Thankfully, with a bit of planning and the right expert advice, you can relieve a lot of the stress on the journey to finding your dream home.
Scott Brown, Partner with Warners Solicitors & Estate Agents gives his top tips to make buying a home in Edinburgh as simple and stress-free as possible.
Set a budget and stick to it
Buying a property is likely to be one of the biggest financial commitments that you make, so it’s important to plan out exactly how much you can afford from the outset. Don’t forget to make an allowance for things like furniture, insurance, utilities and repairs, and make sure that repayments would still be affordable even if interest rates rise or you are unable to work for a period of time. Once you’ve set a budget, stick to it. It’s easy to fall in love with a property and be tempted to overstretch yourself, but be firm and stick to the budget you set at the start.
Prioritise what’s most important to you
The things that are most important to you when buying a home will depend entirely on your personal circumstances. For some people, finding a place in the catchment area for the right school might be paramount. For others, having a large garden to enjoy in the summer may be what they value most.
Decide what things you want that you aren’t willing to compromise on, and also the things of lower importance that you can live without and therefore shouldn’t pay a premium for.
Get help from the experts
You’ll want to appoint a solicitor to formally note interest or make offers on a property. Most solicitors only charge you a fee for purchasing once you’ve had an offer accepted on a property so it makes sense to appoint someone early in the process. That way you can act quickly when you see a property that you like.
Once you have a solicitor in place, make sure to ask them any questions that you have. At Warners, our expert team helps to buy and sell hundreds of properties every year and we know there really is no such thing as a silly question. If knowing the answer helps to put your mind at rest, it’s worth asking!
Think of the property as you’d need it to be, not as it currently is
Once you find a property that you like you’ll want to arrange a viewing. When you’re there, think about how the property will look once it has everything that you need in place including furniture, appliances and other items.
Sellers will, understandably, want to remove as much clutter as they can for when they are having potential buyers around, so you’ll probably be seeing the property at its most spacious. Once you start mentally adding in all of the furniture and storage that you’d need, a home that appears at first to be perfect might start to feel a little more cramped, so it’s important to think about where everything would go if the property was yours.
Get to know the neighbourhood
Make sure you get to know the neighbourhood as well as the property. Take a walk around the local area to see what shops and other amenities there are nearby. If you viewed the property during the day, go back again later one evening so that you get a better feel for what the area is like at night as well as during the day. Speak to the neighbours to see if they can offer any insight to the property your buying or the neighbourhood in general. Be sure to ask your solicitor for their thoughts on the area and analysis on what’s happening with house prices locally.
Don’t let your heart rule your head
It’s easy, especially in a market where competition among buyers is fierce, to fall in love with a property and be tempted to overbid for it. Try to get a second, objective opinion from friends and family. Ask your solicitor for guidance on the latest selling prices in the area to make sure that what you’re planning to offer isn’t excessive.
Remember, help is just a phone call away
Whatever happens on your journey, remember that you’re not alone. A good, experienced solicitor estate agent will have come across almost every curveball that the market can throw out, so if you ever find yourself needing guidance or reassurance, just give them a call and they’ll be happy to do whatever they can to put your mind at ease.
If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, get in touch with Warners today by calling 0131 667 0232, or by filling out this simple form and one of our friendly team will be delighted to help you every step of the way.