When Can You Buy Your First Home?

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Hi guys,

Happy Wednesday. Hope you are all having a fabulous week.

I’m so excited for this week. Obviously I had my big collaboration announcement yesterday and my next one is on Friday. I also announced if you didn’t watch my Insta Stories on Sunday, that I am doing a HUGE giveaway when I get to 50K followers on Instagram. I’m so close so I cannot wait to share it all with you. WAIT until you see the prizes I have for it 😉

So this is my third blog post in my collaboration with Perfect Property. As you can tell from the title it is HOME related. Just incase you missed my first post, I was approached two months ago by a new Irish property website, Perfect Property to collaborate together. After some research into what they were about etc, I agreed it would be the perfect collaboration given that we have just moved into our home. Perfect Property are a new search engine set to revolutionise the Irish property industry by offering smarter searching for house hunters. Over 50% of people now looking for homes are doing it on their phones so they have designed it in such a way that it’s super quick and easy to use on your mobile phone or laptop. They have amazing lifestyle search features that users can use to find properties best suited to their needs.

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If you missed my first or second posts, you can read them below:

Finding Your Perfect Property

Creating The PERFECT Room

So what’s up this month? This month I am chatting to you all about their new feature which is their unique Savings Deposit Decoder. This is an extremely simple way of working out how much you need to save to get on the property ladder. The feature allows you to know exactly how much you need to save every week to get that all important deposit. It’s so easy to use and fun too. You can check it out HERE.

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If you’re planning on buying a property in Ireland, it’s important that you come to the table prepared.

There are many steps in the process which may seem daunting, but with a clear plan it will be worth it when you settle into your new home!

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What Are The Steps In Buying A Home?

  1. Speak to a mortgage professional to find out how your current financial situation sets you up for a home loan.
  2. Save for a 10%-20% deposit and ensure your finances are in order.
  3. Get an ‘Approval In Principle’, which is a pre-approval for a mortgage.
  4. Ensure you are putting extra funds aside for Stamp Duty, Solicitor Fees, VAT, Insurance Policies etc.
  5. Start your property search online to understand how far your budget gets you.
  6. Hire a Solicitor to manage the legal aspect of purchasing before you make an offer.
  7. Inspect properties of interest until you find one that’s perfect for you and make an offer.
  8. Once your offer is accepted, subject to the survey, the property goes Sale Agreed & a booking deposit is paid to the listing Estate Agent.
  9. A document of sale is sent your solicitor.
  10. Hire a professional surveyor to inspect the property, if there is a large issue then you can back out of the sale or renegotiate.
  11. Organise a property valuation through your mortgage lender & secure a formal loan approval
  12. Organise Home & Mortgage Insurance policies
  13. Sign the Contract & pay the required deposit, minus your booking deposit.  Once these contracts are exchanged you will typically have 6 weeks to finalise the sale.
  14. Sign your mortgage documents and ensure the loan will be ready for your agreed sale date as outlined in the contract.
  15. Your solicitor will request payment of stamp duty prior to settlement.
  16. On the agreed date home ownership will be transferred and your mortgage opened.
  17. Pick up the keys and move in, remembering to set funds aside for ongoing maintenance work.

You can read about each point in more detail over on the Perfect Property website HERE.

I sat down with Laura, the Managing Director of Perfect Property to get her tips and advice on securing your first home in Ireland.

  • Understand your financial situation and what factors detract from your ability to obtain a mortgage.
    These include other debt (credit cards, personal loans, car loans etc), a poor credit rating, no proof of consistent savings.  Before you even begin looking at properties, find out how much you can borrow.  If the mortgage advisor comes back with lower figure than you anticipated, make sure to discuss how you can improve this because it’s not always income related, it can be to do with other expenses that you incur or your credit history.
  • Understand what your deal-breakers are:
    Whether it has to be a certain property type or it has to be in a certain area etc.  Really think about how flexible you’re willing to be and then look online to see if that’s realistic.  Many first home buyers dream of a detached or semi-detached home in a particular area however, the cost is often too high.  So the decision has to be made, are you happy to be flexible regarding the property type, the size or the area?  You can always up-size or move areas in the coming years once you’ve got your foot firmly on the property ladder.
  • Buy based on numbers, not just your heart.
    This is the hardest one, you view a property and fall in love.  You don’t notice the cracks in the walls, the damp on the ceiling, the busy street out front, lack of back garden and a million other little things, because in your mind you can picture where everything will go and how you’d redecorate.  This can be a real trap to fall into, remind yourself that such an expensive purchase needs to make sense beyond your emotions.
  • View the property through the eyes of the next buyer
    What would they critique about the home?  Is it small, noisy, damp or dark?  Be as objective as possible!  And most importantly don’t be afraid to miss out, the right property will always come along, it’s not a race.
  • Compare the property to similar ones in the area to make sure you don’t end up overpaying.
    Make sure it’s a true comparison: Same property type, roughly same size, same beds & bath, same transport links, same amenities nearby, same size garden.  Think about the property as a package, do similar ones in the area offer more in their package or less and then compare the price.  Always keep in mind the re-sale value as well, so if most homes in the area offer 4 beds but you are looking at buying a 3 bed, it may prove harder to sell in the future when most of your competition have that extra bedroom.
  • Ideally look for ways to add value to the property:
    Can it be modernised or potentially even extended?  Even if you don’t do the work, this can help a property stand out if you put it back on the market for sale.
  • Do your homework before you pay the deposit
    That includes hiring a solicitor and a surveyor.  Once you buy the property, you inherit any problems so make sure you do a thorough inspection first.  You can always back out of the sale or negotiate a lower price if any nasty surprises appear in the surveyors report.  It’s also important to have the bank valuation completed during this time.  If the bank deems the property to be worth less than you’ve offered, then securing a mortgage will prove difficult.  It’s also a red flag that you’re potentially paying too much for the property.
  • Enjoy the process
    Yes it’s stressful and there are many steps involved but this is a huge milestone in your life.  Stop to think about how much of an achievement this is and be excited, you are on your way to owning your very own home!

So there you have it. A super efficient and handy way to work out how much you need to save for buying your first home and also professional advice straight from the MD of Perfect Property.

Until next month guys :)

Love Aoibhe xxx

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