Acquiring a property is one of the most significant purchases you will make in your lifetime, hence getting it right is vital.
The decisions you make along this process could save you – or cost you many thousands of euros.
Having a checklist or some guide if you are going to acquire a house is the first step to ensure that you are going to make a safe and conscious purchase, without precipitations or failures.
To help you with this task, I have put together this guide to assist you in the process.
These tips are helpful for everyone looking to acquire a property but even more for first-time buyers that might feel somewhat disoriented about the steps to follow and the obligations they have to fulfill.
So, without further ado, let’s get into the subject.
VALUABLE FIRST STAGE BUYING A PROPERTY TIPS
1. Always get mortgage approval first to avoid disappointment and to know what properties you can and cannot bid on.
2. Always ensure that your mortgage repayments are affordable for you on a monthly basis and make sure to allow for monthly utility bills, life assurance, savings for emergencies and holidays etc. Never buy a house outside your means. This will put you under enormous pressure, and you will grow to resent your property in the long term and could eventually lead to bank repossession. Nothing is worth that.
3. Once you know how much you can spend do research into the area, you would like to live. Check out infrastructure systems, distance from work, schools, amenities and sporting facilities in the area.
4. Now you have decided approximately the area you wish to live now go and research the internet and call the relevant auctioneers and get out and view these houses.
5. Please note that buying a house is like “Speed Dating” you need to do a lot of investigating before you find the right one. You will know the right property for you as soon as you put your foot inside the door. The property will feel just right for you.
6. When viewing check out the area, the neighbourhood and the adjacent houses. Are your new potential neighbour’s house proud, clean and quiet to live beside? Is there any proposed planning permission in the area that may have an impact positive or negative on your property long term value.
7. Take a good look inside every property. Look at everything from the ceilings to the walls and the floors. Look out for damp spots and hidden surprises. Always walk the permeameter of the property and always walk out into the garden and look back at the house. Don’t be afraid to buy a house in bad condition as sometimes there can be a bargain to be got in these.
8. Never view a house in the dark as there is so much that you cannot see.
9. If you are happy with your chosen house place an offer with the auctioneer but always come back and make a second viewing as you will see so much more the second time around.
Your dream house is now one stage closer…
VALUABLE SECOND STAGE BUYING TIPS (PLACING AN OFFER)
1. Don’t be surprised if there may be one or more bidders bidding on the property. You may need to bid higher to get the property sale agreed to you.
2. If you are in a bidding war for a property my advice to you is to set a price in your head as to how much that house is worth to you and if the bids go over that price walk away from the property. Always ask the status of the other bidders, e.g. are they in a chain, are they cash buyers etc.
3. Buyers can be very wary of fictitious bidders; however, the Property Regulatory Body of Ireland has strict rules and implement strict auditing procedures to every licensed auctioneer. If a licensed auctioneer is in breach of these rules, there are huge penalties and licenses can be revoked and huge fines placed. The whole system, unlike years ago, is now thankfully very regulated so if you are told, there is a bid on a property the likelihood is there is.
4. Always ensure the vendors are willing to move out as you don’t want to be left waiting for months waiting for the vendors to “find” what they are looking for as this could delay your move-in date for months and if the vendors don’t “find” what they are looking for you will get your deposit returned, and you will have to start house hunting all over again, and you will have to pay your solicitor for their time, and you will have to pay to get another bank valuation done along with another structural survey! This will all be at your expense.
Almost there, just a few more steps……
VALUABLE THIRD STAGE BUYING TIPS (FROM OFFER ACCEPTANCE TO CLOSING)
1. If your offer is accepted, you will need to engage a solicitor and place a deposit with the auctioneer. Make sure you engage a solicitor who is fast, friendly and approachable. The “cheaper” is not always the best choice. I have seen solicitors loose sales as they are just too slow and reactive.
2. Please ensure that you organize a Structural Engineer to check your purchased property to make sure it is structurally sound. If you are buying a second-hand property, please note that like a second-hand car it is not going to be 100% perfect. A Structural Engineer ensures that what you are buying is sound.
3. You will have to organize a bank valuer to value your newly purchased property. This is great now as the bank valuer will advise if you are paying too much and will not lend the mortgage if the purchase price is too high. The vendor will have to accept the bank’s value for sale to go over the line.
4. Your solicitor will be in contact with you to sign the 10 or 20% deposit after three to four weeks approx.
5. You should close your sale two to three weeks after.
6. Upon moving in, make sure you get the GPRN and MPRN number to change utilities into your name.
7. Make sure you get all the locks changed as you don’t know who may have keys of your new home.
8. Always change the alarm code.
9. Relax, enjoy and live in your property before you start changing things. You need to live in your property first to get a feel for it and to see what you would eventually like to do.
10. Welcome to your new home! Well done and a huge congratulations to you.
Purchasing a house can seem and feel like a complex, time-consuming process, and the truth is that sometimes it can be, but when broken down into manageable steps as I have done here for you, you’ll find it to be an easier process than it looks.
I hope you have enjoyed this article and found it useful. If you have any doubts about this subject or need assistance in buying your dream home, please get in touch, and I will be happy to assist you.