Freelance Writer and Editor
Article for Your Practical Guide – Buying a House Partwork Supplement for De Agostini Ltd
YOUR PRACTICAL GUIDE: BUYING A HOUSE
A lot of people will tell you that buying a house is one of the most traumatic things you’ll ever do. Well, it’s true that it’s an important decision, and the process can be stressful at times, but there can be a great deal of joy and pleasure in it too.
The best way to make the process go smoothly is to be aware of what to expect at each step of the way – and hopefully this guide will give you a start.
HOW MUCH CAN YOU AFFORD?
Before you even begin to look at houses, you need to know how much you can afford. It’s no good hankering after homes that are beyond your price range, and straining to find ways to raise the money.
Once you know what’s within reach, you’ll find you’re happy looking just at the ones you can afford – that’s human nature. A quick call to a mortgage lender will give you a rough idea of what to expect, based on your income, the size of the deposit that you need to put down, and so on.
PRIVATE SALE OR ESTATE AGENT?
You may choose to do your house hunting yourself, and this has become easier with the rise of the Internet. There are countless sites you can go to, simply by tapping in something like: ‘Find a property’ or ‘House buying’ into a web browser. Many of the sites have pictures, and it’s easy to compare properties with a few clicks of the mouse.
You can also look in the classified sections of newspapers – especially local ones. However, going through an agent has many advantages. Commission on the sale is charged to the vendor, and if you are a first-time buyer, you will be able to get valuable advice from the professionals, who know about the area, the history of the house, how much to offer and so on. By liaising on your behalf with the vendor, they can also save you time, and some of the worry, if you are not sure of what to do.