Buying a property will be the biggest outlay of money during your lifetime, so it pays to do your research to avoid making any costly mistakes. There are always plenty of exciting property opportunities in St Albans, but if you are a first time buyer new to the market, you may not be sure of the best place to start. To help you along, here’s our guide to buying property in St Albans.
Get to know the St Albans property market
While national trends will give you a general idea of the state of the property market, understanding what is happening at a local level will prove far more helpful. Property values in the area rose slighty by just over 1% in 2018, which is in stark contrast to London where prices continue to fall. The average price paid for a house in St Albans last year was £568,926, which is based on just over 1,300 sales. In 2019 you would expect to pay around £311,000 for a flat in St Albans, £445,000 for a terraced house, £582,000 for a semi-detached and £922,000 for a detached property.
Organise your finances
Work out the money you currently have available to use for a deposit. You will also have to add in additional buying costs for stamp duty, surveyors, solicitors and moving costs. Then you can visit a mortgage broker to discuss how much you can borrow. The deposit will make up the vast majority of your costs and depending on the lender, the type of mortgage you secure and your credit history, you will be required to pay at least 5% of the property’s full value.
Explore your purchasing options
Finding the money to buy a house is not easy but there are a number of ways to do so if securing the finances proves difficult. Government-backed schemes such as Help to Buy, Shared Ownership or Starter Home initiatives are available for people who meet the requirements. There is more help available than ever before when it comes to buying a property in St Albans, so don’t despair if going the traditional route is not an option.
Investigate the local area
Feeling at home in St Albans won’t just come down to the place you live. You need to ensure you have access to good transport connections and facilities nearby. St Albans performs extremely well on those fronts, with regular trains travelling into London St Pancras in a little over 15 minutes. The M1 and M25 are also close at hand for those journeying by car. St Albans also has a wide selection of places to eat, drink and relax, with some wonderful countryside close at hand and a high standard of education for children of all ages.
Look at the bigger picture
When you are buying a house you are not just buying for today. It is a huge investment you will be tied into for quite some time. With that in mind, think out your finances and how you will be able to pay for the mortgage should your circumstances change. This could be anything from having children, falling seriously ill, losing your job or separating from your partner. Renting out a spare bedroom could be a short-term answer, so take this into consideration when housing hunting.