Five Home Buying Mistakes to Avoid

Many first time buyers regret their first home purchase simply because they did not know the home buying mistakes to avoid.

Saving up for a property is no joke. Even the media call the Millennials and Generation Z the ‘generation rent’ because of how hard it has become to save up a deposit and get on the property ladder. So the fact you are reading this post and thinking about buying a home is a big deal in itself.

Being able to pull together a home deposit with the prices of homes at present (and that is where ever you maybe) its a feat and one you should be proud of – I kid you not.

As you start looking out for the kind of house you want and the neighborhood you want to get into, I would like you to be aware of these five home buying mistakes you should avoid; so that you don’t regret your home purchase in anyway.

1. Not Doing the Maths 

Whenever you talk about buying a property, they always tell you about the deposit, but nobody talks about the extra fees; and this extra fees can be craaaaazyyyyy.

To avoid the shock of unexpected fees, it is important that you do the maths carefully and evaluate the other costs attached to buying a property.

Some of those fees include:
  • Stamp duty: If your house costs more than £250000, there would be stamp duty on it. Although stamp duty payment will be taken at the end of the buying process when you are paying for your home, it is important to save for it. The amount you pay for stamp duty increases as the value of your house increases.  However, at present there are no stamp duty
  • However, from the onset, conveyancing lawyers will ask you to show evidence of that money because they want to be sure you have both your deposit and the stamp duty.
  • Legal/conveyancing fees: You should factor in the fact that you would need to hire a lawyer during the process who will likely charge you a little over £1000.
  • Survey fees: You will need to hire a surveyor while house-hunting who will also charge you some money. Getting a surveyor for the property you want to buy will help you avoid unexpected repair costs. It will also give you an idea of how much you might need to invest in the house after purchasing it. 
  • Land registry free: You must understand that stamp duty is quite different from land registry free. The land registry fee is usually charged based on the value of the property you want to buy.

Other costs that come with home-buying include local authority search fees, estate agent commission, house-hunting expenses, removal fees, and many more. 

You need to do the maths properly to know how to budget and save for the exact money you need for a property; doing this would also help you look for a house within the amount you have saved.

2. Not Inspecting the Property Thoroughly

For a few years, I have run a homebuyers club where I guide intending house-owners on the journey to being a landlord, and emphasize all the home buying mistakes to avoid. One thing I have observed over time is the focus on the sellers’ décor. 

Don’t get carried away by the painting and the furniture when you look at a house for inspection. this is not what you should be focusing on. Make a list of things you want to look out for before going and tick them off.

Instead of focusing on things that are of less importance, look at the window frame, check for mould, flush the toilets to check the plumbing system works well, don’t ignore exposed wires. You should also stand out on the street, and look at the roof to ensure no tiles are missing, . 

Go upstairs and check the attic, look into the garden, check for damp in the walls, and ask questions. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by superficial things like poor painting and excess furniture; you can always change those to your taste. 

3. Not Checking the Location

There is a saying that “buy the worse house on the nicest street”. This saying is true because your location is everything when buying a property. It determines how well your property will increase in value and how well you will enjoy it.

 When I was trying to get on the property ladder, my husband and I went to look at a house, and it was beautiful. The garden was big and beautiful.

I was almost carried away by the seller’s decor. I was already picturing myself living in this beautiful house without thinking about the location. 

It took me speaking to a friend who is an agent to be aware that there was a rowdy, noisy Pub just two doors down the street from the house. Once I realized how loud the nightlife in that location was, I aborted the mission of purchasing the property.

You need to consider how accessible the house is to basic amenities like train stations if you are a commuter, schools, hospitals, and shops. 

The value of your property can be negatively affected, if you are too far away from basic community amenities like train stops, hospitals, and schools. You will likely struggle to get value for the house when you want to sell.

Imagine a house where the internet connection is terrible because internet providers cannot get to you, and you have to find a good corner to use your phone or internet. That would be a horrible experience. This is an important home buying mistakes to avoid.

4. Not Listening to Expert Advice

Listen to people who have gone through the home-buying journey repeatedly. Consult surveyors and listen to their advice. If you have friends who are house agents, ask for their opinion. 

Once a surveyor points you to red flags in the house, do not wave it off and say it does not matter. Adhere to expert advice. The expert has nothing to lose or gain either way because they would not be living in the house with you, nor will they benefit from the value increase on the house over the years.

5. Not Considering House Efficiency

Houses now come with an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) value rating from A to G. You need to consider the EPC value of the home you want to buy. 

If the house you are trying to buy has an EPC rating of E, F, or G, you need to be aware that you are purchasing a home that is not energy efficient. Your utility bills will be higher, and you would possibly end up in a colder house, which is not a good experience in winter.

A trick a lot of sellers play is that when you are about to come and view the house in winter, they heat it ahead so that you can meet a warm house. You may get carried away with the warmth and not check the EPC rating. 

Do not make this mistake of ignoring the EPC rating simply because you met a warm cozy house. Feel free to ask what the EPC rating is if it is not provided on the sellers ad.

I hope this post has been of great value to you, and I hope you keep these five points in mind as you search for your perfect home. I would love to read from you once you land your dream house without making these mistakes.

Till next time.

Love

Ronke O.

Published by ronkeodewumi

I am a Chartered Accountant (ACMA, CGMA) and seasoned Management Consultant with about 16 years of experience driving the delivery of strategic solutions to complex problems of global firms. Through my blog, youtube channel, social media, tailored courses and downloadable material, I share information, resources and tips to help you manage your money better, grow your business, progress in your career, thrive in difficult times and create a life that is safe from failure, while being the best version of yourself. You will also find here links to my youtube videos where I share more nuggets to help you achieve and live your dream life. I am based in London, United Kingdom and always happy to connect with you via email (ronkeodewumi@gmail.com), social media or my contact page here.

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