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How to buy a home successfully in 2014?

Whether you are a first-time buyer, seasoned investor or multiple home mover, buying a home can be challenging at the best of times – but it doesn't have to be.

There are 7 keys steps to moving into your brand new home and below we outline helpful ways you can secure your dream home successfully with less stress.

1. Preparing your finances and working out how much you can afford
It is absolutely pointless to even look at a property without knowing first whether it is affordable and you have the financial ability to buy a home. Book an appointment with a financial adviser or your bank to discuss your finances. At this stage, it might be an idea to search online for the type of properties you are considering to get an idea of price. But it is a waste of time to view any of them at this stage.

2. The search and choosing the right property
The searching for a property has never been easier with most properties advertised on mainstream property portals online such as Zoopla, Primelocation, Globrix and Rightmove. If you are serious you will also be looking for properties by driving around the areas you want to move to and studying the local property paper. You may also want to register your requirements and details with a few estate agents who will contact you regarding new instructions before they are on the portals. Draw up a shortlist of suitable properties based on your requirements. Then view the suitable ones.

3. Viewing, Offering and Negotiating
At this stage, you have whittled down many properties to a short list of potentials. Book a viewing at each, but before doing that it is always prudent to drive by the area to avoid wasting your time. Perhaps go at different times of day, for example, if it's close to a school it may be very busy from mid-afternoon. After viewing you need to decide whether it ticks most of the boxes. The perfect property does not exist. Remember you make the house your home. Then decide whether to offer or not. When offering, try putting yourself in the owner's position. Would you accept your offer if you were the owner? Give the agent/seller an incentive and the confidence to accept your offer. When negotiating always have a "walk away" point and make sure your negotiations are meaningful, respectful and with clarity. The "walk away" point is anything from the vendor's price not been affordable for you to lacking the confidence to proceed with the deal. Clarify whether the offer is subject to anything such as a related sale or a survey.

4. Agreeing on the sale and arranging a survey
Once the negotiation stage is finished this is when both sides should honour their agreements to the sale. A survey is always recommended when buying a property. It should provide added confidence and peace of mind highlighting any potential issues or factors that would impact on the agreed purchase price. We would recommend Chartered Surveyors, Nabarro McAllister & Co, who are contactable on 0113 266 7666. They will be able to assist you further with the type of survey you require. Access for surveys is usually through the agent unless you a buying direct from the owner.

5. Instructing your solicitor or conveyancer
Black Horse Property has a number of recommendations. We recommend solicitors who we have worked with on a daily basis who have time for you. Also it is wise to take recommendations from friends or/and family who may able to suggest a reliable and affordable solicitor. This is an important step, as once the sale is agreed the solicitors are in control of the sales progression. Your solicitor and the agents should be in contact with you throughout. It is also prudent to "push" and "follow up" your solicitor as much as you can. After all, you are their client.

6. Exchange of contracts
This is where both parties commit. The buyer pays a deposit (a percentage of the agreed purchase price). The buyer's solicitor will transfer this to the seller's solicitor. A moving day (completion) date is agreed.



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