Five things you need to know or do before buying a property
Work out what you can afford
You need to have an idea of your budget so that you can start a realistic property search. Start by speaking to your bank or an independent mortgage or financial adviser who will be able to talk you through the process and give you an idea of what price range you can afford. There are many types of mortgage deals, so it's important that you chose a deal that suits your lifestyle.
Do your research
Get to know the areas you're looking at like the back of your hand. Visit them at different times of the day and week. We will help you make sense of the residential property market by combining property listings with market value data, local information and community tools. You can set up alerts for your areas and use our community tool AskMe to research an area and gain insight from professionals and locals who live and work in the area. Make sure you look previous sold house prices in the area or on a specific street. All this information gathering, which is free, will help narrow down your search.
Do you know what you're looking for?
If you have a good idea of what you're looking for from the start you can save time on pointless viewings. This will help an estate agent narrow down your search by location and type as well as help you when searching online. Perhaps you're looking for somewhere that needs work, or maybe you want to move in and carry on or perhaps you'll consider all types of property? The more specific you can be, the easier you make it for the agent. Bear in mind though, that finding the right property often involves compromise at some point, so be prepared to be flexible...unless you have very deep pockets!
It's likely that you'll start your property search online and sending an enquiry for a property to an agent through Zoopla.co.uk is easy. Once you have found properties you like online you will be able to ring or email the agent via the contact button to arrange a viewing.
Making an offer
If you have done your research and planning, you should have a good idea of what has sold in the area recently and you have the asking price of the property and you know what you can afford, so you'll be in a good position to make an offer based on all these factors.