Whether it’s your first time buying a home or not, you should familiarise yourself with the whole mortgage process – don’t get complacent and leave all the financial decisions to your spouse or financial adviser.

While an independent financial adviser will try to assist you in the process of acquiring a mortgage, they will have their own agenda, too, like commission and getting you out of the door fast and onto the next customer!

So, to make sure your family gets the best outcome when looking for a mortgage for a new home you should know the basics so you can make an informed decision before you sign on the dotted line.

Here are five things to consider when buying a home:

1. Set a budget
First of all, before buying a home, consider your financial status. Check your credit worthiness by getting hold of your most recent credit report via Credit Expert so that your financial adviser knows which lenders to approach first – too many credit searches will have an adverse effect on your credit and will stay on your credit file for 12 months.

You should know exactly how much money you have and how much you can afford to spend on your new home before you speak to a third party – set your budget and stick to it. You can use a mortgages calculator to work out what your mortgage payment would be every month.

If you’re thinking of making an investment purchase like a buy to let mortgages as a business investment you should seek some professional independent advice as there is more red tape around this area.

2. Be realistic
Do not confuse your family’s needs and your wants – when gathering information on buying a new home, take into consideration the different types of property available and decide what you want.

3. Don’t rush it
As eager as you may be to get moving, don’t expect to find a great home tomorrow if you’ve only begun your search today. Buying a home is like working on a school project. It needs ample time and patience – if everything moves really fast then it’s a bonus, so don’t get despondent if things seem to move as snails pace.

4. Do your research
Yes, it can be boring doing lots of trawling and calling around estate agents in particular areas to get some background information on different areas, but the more research you put in the better.

If you want to live as close to your child’s school as possible, for example, do some research on websites like Zoopla to see what property on specific roads have sold for so you can work out if you can afford to live in that area.

5. Take notes
Viewing lots of homes can make for a bit of confusion – was it house 2 that had the damp patch, or house 5 with the under stair storage!

You don’t want to forget important details about homes you have viewed, you need to take notes along the way. You can use a notebook or little cue cards where you have ‘pros and cons’ on each home or property you’ve seen to make it easier to trigger your memory and recall correct details.

After each viewing, you and your spouse can run through your initial thoughts and agree the pros and cons.

6. Do a final check
Do a final inspection or walkthrough of the house before you put in an offer. Take your time to really evaluate the house and not get taken over with emotion.

If you have followed point six and written notes or cue cards, you can revisit these if you feel that you are close to choosing a house so you can ask specific questions about any repairs required on the property when you go for a second or third viewing.

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