If you are planning on buying a new property in St Albans, it pays to get some expert local advice to make the right choice. Here are ten key tips for first-time buyers in St Albans.
1. Set your budget
The cost of buying a home isn’t just the deposit (which you’ll need at least 5% of the property’s value), but also the associated fees that come with it. Find out how much you’ll need to pay in solicitor fees and survey and moving costs. Depending on the value of the property in St Albans you may have to pay stamp duty – although anything up to £300,000 for first time buyers will not have to pay this.
2. Consider government schemes
Whether it’s Shared Ownership, Help to Buy or Starter Home initiatives, there’s more government support than ever before when it comes to buying your first home in St Albans. If you can’t afford to finance it yourself, these schemes may be worth considering.
3. Show your buying intent
You can request a Decision in Principle (DIP) or Agreement in Principle (AIP) from the lender once they have offered you a loan. When shopping round St Albans for a property, you can show this to estate agents and sellers to demonstrate how serious you are about buying.
4. Research the local area
Buying a home in St Albans isn’t just about the property. You need to find out about local amenities and facilities. Is it easy to travel to and from work? Will it increase commuting costs? What are the schools like? Is there enough entertainment available on weekends and the evenings? The more of these boxes you can tick, the more likely it is St Albans is for you.
5. Make good use of your search tools
The internet makes finding your ideal home in St Albans easy. Aside from the basic search definitions that define the size of the home, its price etc. – you can be more specific if there are special features you are looking for. Include keywords like ‘garden’, ‘garage’ or even ‘swimming pool’ if these are essential for you to narrow down your options.
6. Utilise local expertise
When it comes to detailed knowledge about local properties in St Albans, estate agents are the people in the know. They live and breathe the property market in the area, so it makes sense to establish a good relationship. It’s one of the best ways to get insider knowledge and a head start when it comes to new houses being put onto the market.
7. Take advantage of property viewings
Visiting a property in St Albans gives you the ideal chance to find out if it is the right one for you. Take your own photos and us the compass on your smartphone to see if it is a sun facing property (especially the garden). Look for any damp, cracks, leaks or bad guttering – any small faults that could require expensive repairs down the line.
8. Compare prices nearby
If you have found a property in St Albans, you’d like to make an offer for, also check the price tag of recently sold properties. This will tell if you if the asking price is fair, and the sort of level your offer can start at.
9. Prepare to negotiate
There is never any harm in trying to negotiate a better price. It’s easy to think the seller is in the position of strength, but that is not always the case. With any luck, you’ll end up saving thousands of pounds in the process.
10. Time to get started
There’s no time like the present, so why not get started with your house hunting with our helpful search tool? Use the steps above, and before you know it, you’ll be moving into your new property in St Albans in no time. You can get in touch with our friendly team of estate agents and letting agents by sending an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or giving us a call on (01727) 836561.