First-time buyer numbers plummeting
The number of first-time buyers entering the property market is at its lowest level for twelve months according to the latest research.
First-Time Buyers – Latest Mortgage News
The first 6 months of 2020 saw almost a 30% drop in first-time buyers.
A number of factors could have led to this fall in young couples, professionals taking the plunge and buying a home. Firstly, the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions of lockdown may well have prevented house purchases.
First-time buyers are finding it increasingly difficult to get their feet on the property ladder due to the longer-term impact of constantly rising house prices and deposits.
‘Any tax holidays result in a distortion in the market and in the case of Stamp Duty needed to be carefully managed and phased out rather than falling off a cliff. Unfortunately, as first-time buyers often form the foundation of selling chains there could be repercussions throughout the sector.’
Key considerations for first-time buyers
Even though property prices are higher than they were, and there are fewer first-time buyers, this should not deter those who still want to buy from purchasing a home.
The main consideration for young professionals, or those considering moving to a new property, is whether to rent or buy. This is often the first topic of discussion, with a large toss-up between owning and borrowing or renting and paying off a mortgage.
Buying your first home
Whether or not you rent initially, you will eventually buy a new home, which will be one of the biggest and most exciting experiences of your life. But it can also be intimidating too!
When you are viewing a house, there are a number of things you might be looking out for, but here are 4 things that are important and can sometimes be overlooked during a house viewing:
1. Plumbing, draining and heating
Keep an eye out for plumbing systems during your viewing:
- Water tanks and boilers
- Roof insulation or window glazing
- Limescale buildup on taps or on the radiator valves
- Lead pipes – you will need to replace any lead pipes with copper or plastic ones
- Damp patches on ceilings or walls
- Stains. lumps or grooves on the floor
- Ventilation in the kitchen or bathroom
These problems are of course fixable with the help of a trained plumber, however, this will be additional work once you have purchased the house. So these are a few things to consider.
2. Painting and decoration
What the interior and exterior of a house look like is incredibly important, especially on the first impression.
Look out for the following during your visit:
- Check the walls and ceilings for cracks, peeling paint
- Does the plaster on the bottom of the walls look like it has been replaced? This could be due to previous damp.
- Keep an eye out for woodchip
- Be wary of thick or textured wallpaper – they could be hiding something
Painting and repainting is an easy and affordable way to make your new house a home, or to touch it up.
Your appliance preferences will depend on your own criteria, however when viewing a property check for:
- Any cables that are exposed or fraying
- The standard of the appliances – are they new and functional?
- Check for smoke alarms
- Check for carbon monoxide alarms
A common question is whether or not appliances will be included when purchasing a house. Each individual case will be different. You can learn more here.
4. Doors and locks
Before you buy, make sure to ask about the security of the house.
Ask about who will also have a key, and where the keys are to all possible doors and windows. If you are uncertain or in doubt at all about the locks, then change the locks once you have moved in for peace of mind. Read more.