We’ve pulled together 10 of the most common home-buying mistakes to avoid:
1. Overlooking your credit report
Find out your credit score by getting a copy of your credit report BEFORE you apply for a mortgage.
Registering yourself on the electoral roll, for example, is a quick and easy way to boost your score and it will stand you in better stead when applying for a mortgage. There are more tips for improving your credit score here.
2. Mistaking the lender valuation for a survey
When a mortgage lender does a valuation, it’s only to check the property is adequate value for the loan. If you want to find out if anything is wrong with it, such as damp, you will have to pay for your own survey.
A Home Buyer’s report will suffice for most properties, but you can find out more about which survey is right for you here.
3. Taking mortgage advice from the estate agent
Don’t be surprised if the estate agent tries to offer you mortgage advice. But, bear in mind they are unlikely to compare every mortgage lender in the market – and they may even charge you.
Check out our mortgage comparison tables instead or call a free independent mortgage broker such as London and Country (0800 170 1943).
4. Buying a flat with a short lease
Flats with short leases (that usually means 80 years or less remaining) can be a problem when it comes to getting a mortgage – and again when you come to sell.
Find out if the lease can be extended before you buy. If the seller won’t or can’t do this, make sure the shorter lease is reflected in the price you pay.
Variable rates might look cheaper than fixed deals, but would you be able to afford higher payments when interest rates rise?
5. Not getting a mortgage agreement in principle
There’s no point putting on offer in on a property if you haven’t got your mortgage sorted first – so check out these 10 top tips to maximise your chances.
When you get the green light, ask the lender for an ‘agreement in principle’ so you can demonstrate that you’re a serious buyer.
6. Ending up paying rent AND a mortgage
If you are renting right now, you’ll probably need to give at least a month’s notice your landlord.
Make sure you time this right so you don’t end up paying rent and a mortgage at the same time.
7. Making home insurance an afterthought
Getting buildings insurance, which covers the bricks and mortar of your new home, will usually be a condition of your lender's agreement. But you don’t have to buy it from the lender.
Shop around for the best deal and make sure you get contents cover thrown in too. So long as you use a professional removal company, this policy should cover your belongings against loss or damage while they’re in transit.
8. Opting for the wrong mortgage
With so many different mortgages to choose from, it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Variable rates might look cheaper than fixed deals, but would you be able to afford higher payments when interest rates rise?
Have a play around with our mortgage calculator and find out.
9. Underestimating TOTAL costs
There's a whole host of costs associated with buying a property and it's easy to forget to budget for them all. Have you factored in stamp duty, legal, moving and mortgage arrangement fees, for example?
Our cost of moving calculator can help give you an idea of what you'll have to pay.
10. Being shy
Don't be shy about asking questions. Find out if there have ever been any disputes with neighbours or the council, and whether any planning applications have been made.
The age and condition of the property’s boiler is also worth knowing as a new one could set you back another £1,000.
Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.