A mortgage is a big loan, usually from a bank or building society. They assess your viability on a variety of factors based on your financial situation. You pay it back to the lender on a monthly basis over a long term, like 25 years. You also have to pay interest back on the loan. It’s a big debt to have but is the main way most people are able to buy property.

How much deposit do you need

There are some lenders who offer a 95% mortgage so you would need a 5% deposit. If you were buying a property for £200,000, you would need a £10,000 deposit. You could put down a 10% deposit at £20,000 or 15% at £30,000. The bigger your deposit, often the better your interest rate and lower your monthly repayments. Also, a bigger deposit can mean you’re more likely to be accepted for a mortgage.

How to find your ideal home

When you first start thinking about buying your new home, you may have a dream in mind. You may have certain things that you cannot compromise on. Why not create a bucket list of must-have’s in order of priority with those at the end of the list that you would be willing to forego if your main goals are met.

Where to look

You will have heard of websites like Rightmove or Zoopla. These are great to browse for homes. You can get the gist of what kinds of properties are available in what price brackets. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking every available property is on those sites.

Register with local estate agents. Give them a call to explain your budget, preferred area(s) and requirements. When an estate agent goes to see a property that will soon be available, there is a process they follow before it can go online. Things like completing paperwork, writing adverts, taking photos or videos have to be done.

Any decent estate agent will contact the people they know this property would be a great fit for before all those items are ticked off the list. If you are registered with the agent, you could view the property, make an offer and start the buying process, before it’s ever gone online. Great estate agents hear what your property needs are, even if you’re not able to articulate them. When they suggest you visit a property, it’s with good reason. Think of the property shows on TV: how many times do they buy the ‘mystery house’? Be guided by the pros. It’s not their first rodeo!

Social Media

Are you following Oliver James on Facebook and Instagram? This is a place where we showcase properties coming onto the market prior to them hitting the property portals.

This will give you a head start to the rest of the market. It also gives you a feel for how properties are advertised. Oliver does a Facebook live of all properties coming to the market.

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