Six questions first-time buyers should ask

Your first home is one of the biggest and most significant financial commitments that you’ll make, so it’s important to that you’re prepared and ask the right questions. It’s not just about finding the right home, you need to consider your finances and emotions too.

As you start your search for your first home, we’re here to help make sure you’re equipped with the right questions to ask yourself, the estate agent and/or the seller during each viewing.

  1. How much can I afford?

Before you can search for properties you need to know how much you can afford to borrow. Consulting a mortgage advisor will allow you to work out how much your finances will allow you to borrow and how much you’ll need as a deposit.

Once you’ve bought your home you’ll have monthly bills which you’ll also need to account for, think about how much your utility bills will be, council tax and food bills.


  1. Which area would I like to live in?

You’ve probably got an area in mind where you’d like to live, but you must consider your budget, lifestyle and future. Choosing the right location when buying is important as you’ll be living there for the foreseeable future. As well as affordability you’ll need to work out your commute, is it viable?  What can the local area offer you in terms of amenities, and will it provide you with the lifestyle you seek?


  1. Why is the seller moving?

If you have an opportunity to talk to the seller, try to build up a rapport with them – this will help when it comes to the negotiating stage and you can find out a little more about why they’re selling and their position. If they have already found a property to buy they may be more inclined to take a lower offer.


  1. How long has the property been on the market?

The estate agent will be able to tell you how long the property has been for sale and how much interest it’s had. These answers will help you with your next move, whether you need to make an offer quickly and how strong that offer needs to be.  Remember, if you want this home, show the sellers you are serious and make your offer one they cannot resist.


  1. How do I know which survey I’ll need?

Property surveys are basically a general health check, and the time of survey you’ll need is ultimately determined by the type of property you are interested in buying. Each survey will inspect the property’s condition and identify any problems to the buyer. A Condition Report is the most basic and the cheapest survey, ideal for standard properties and new homes in good condition. A Home Condition Survey is for standard homes in reasonable condition, and a Building Survey is for larger, older properties and properties in a poor condition.  Please remember, the survey undertaken by your mortgage lender will NOT provide you with a health check on your home, this survey is for financial purposes only.


  1. Have there been any planning permissions or applications submitted nearby?

You may think that nearby building work won’t affect you and, although it’s unlikely you’ll incur any additional costs from it, it could affect you in other ways. New developments could mean buildings disrupting your view or affecting your journey to work. You don’t want any shocks when you move in, so do your research before you take a step into buying a property.

If you’re a first-time buyer in Cambridge and need some help, you can talk to our team for advice and potential properties to view. Call us today on 01223 811101 or visit us in Stow-Cum-Quy.