Tips to buy a home
21 December 2023
There’s nothing quite like the excitement of preparing to move house, especially if it means you’re becoming a homeowner for the first time. Stepping onto the property ladder is not only a way to
invest in your future; you’re securing a place to call home where you finally get to live life your way!
If you’re serious about buying your dream home in 2024, then planning is key. Taking the time now to consider all the things that ensure a smooth move – from getting your finances in place to thinking ahead to how you want your new place to look – will mean you’re in the best position to purchase the right home for you.
This article gives you ten top tips for turning your property ownership dream into reality in 2024.
In this section:
- Tip 1 – Make your money work for you
- Tip 2 – Think about how to buy
- Tip 3 – Find an independent financial advisor
- Tip 4 – Seek out savings
- Tip 5 – Research the local area
- Tip 6 – Write your non-negotiables list
- Tip 7 – Think about interior design
- Tip 8 – Plan your space
- Tip 9 – Engage a good solicitor
- Tip 10 – Be poised and ready
Start by mapping out your moving budget. Buying a home is about more than just saving a deposit, so plan to budget for things such as Stamp Duty, professional fees, insurance, moving costs, decorating costs and any other major items you’ll need to buy. Make use of savings accounts with high-interest rates and find a savings method that works for you.
There are different ways to buy a property, depending on your needs and the size of your deposit. If you have a smaller deposit, Shared Ownership or Shared Equity could be sensible routes onto the property ladder. You might be pleasantly surprised by how little you need to save for your deposit with these schemes – try our Shared Ownership calculator as a starter for ten!
Engaging an independent financial advisor (IFA) can be an excellent way to find the mortgage that’s
right for you. There are hundreds of mortgage products aimed specifically at first-time buyers and a
financial advisor can take the heavy lifting out of sifting through them.
Why not try our mortgage calculator for an idea of what you will be able to afford?
If you’re buying a new home, ask if there are any incentives available. Mortgage contributions, Stamp Duty contributions and other financial incentives could save you thousands of pounds when you buy a new build, freeing up funds to create the home of your dreams.
Don’t just plan to find a property you love, plan to find a whole area! From shops, restaurants and leisure amenities to green spaces, sports clubs and schools, it’s important to know what’s going to be on your doorstep once you move. Our own developments include detailed information about the local area, including transport links, schools and local attractions, so you can tell instantly whether it’s going to be the place for you.
What’s on your dream floorplan? Whether it’s space to work from home, a downstairs WC or an open plan kitchen/living space, be clear on what’s a non-negotiable versus a nice-to-have. But be realistic too – check the local market to see whether your wish list marries up to reality.
Owning your own home means you can fill it with bright, bold colours or pale, muted tones – or anything in between! It’s never too soon to start thinking about your style and how you’re going to create personalised spaces you’ll love. Start a mood board for each room to track your ideas and see how they work together. Find inspiration in the world around you, in magazines, on social media… capture anything and everything that inspires you.
Start thinking about how you plan to use the property and your storage needs, to work out how best to utilise the available space. And always check your measurements carefully for each room – don’t buy beds and sofas until you’re sure of your sizes!
Remember that newly built homes are often designed to be more space efficient. For example, Places for People homes have been thoughtfully designed with an abundance of storage along with above-average room sizes and a focus on flexible living.
A proactive solicitor who is easy to contact and keeps you updated regularly throughout the home buying process can make moving so much easier. Ask friends for recommendations and vet potential solicitors thoroughly online before making your choice. Be sure to find one who cuts through the jargon.
When you find your new home, you’ll know. The more paperwork you have ready in advance, the faster you can move, so you stand the best chance of snapping up your dream home.
Finally, remember to enjoy the journey. Much is made of how stressful preparing to move house can be, but it can also be a really thrilling time, particularly if you’ve done your homework beforehand.
When you buy new with Places for People, you can also count on our expert team to support you through the entire process, from finding your new home all the way through to moving day and the moment your home buying dream becomes reality.