February 2019 - Fife Properties
Fife Properties

A First-time Buyers Guide to Making an Offer

If you’re a first-time buyer and have begun the hunt for your first home, you may think that once you’ve found the right one you simply offer what they ask for; job done! However, when it comes to making an offer on a home, there’s a bit more work that should go into it than simply offering the price advertised.

You need to be confident when making an offer that you’re not going to be stung by an inflated asking price or take yourself out of the running by offering too low. To help you prepare, we’ve put together the following information to help you through this stage of the home buying process.

Get some advice

The first and arguably most important step you need to take is speaking to an expert. If you’re a first-time buyer, then you probably don’t have a wealth of knowledge on how the market works and what you can and can’t afford. Get in touch with a mortgage advisor, get informed on how it all works and more importantly, find out what your price range is so when you do make a formal offer you can do so with confidence.

Research the local market

Once you know how much you’ll be able to spend, it’s time to get a better understanding of your local market. The more research the better. Take a look at what’s up for sale and find out what your budget will get you in each area.

Build a list of key features that your home will need, such as the number of bedrooms or a driveway. The chances of you moving into your dream property with your first move are somewhat slim; however, it’s important that you know what you’re looking for and how much it will cost you in each area.

It would be wise at this point to get in touch with a local estate agent. You can do as much research as possible, but a good local agent will always be a benefit as they will know the market like the back of their hand. This means that they can fill you in on what to expect from vendors and hopefully help you avoid any pitfalls.

Get out there and book some viewings

Now that you’ve done your research on what you want, what you can afford and what the market has to offer, it’s time to book some viewings and get out there. Things can move very quickly in the property market, so your previous work and research leading up to this point will come in handy as there’ll be no time wasted travelling to unsuitable areas or over-priced properties.

While viewing properties, be sure to check out the building’s structure and not just its décor. Check for any damage such as cracks in walls or damp. Make sure you understand exactly what you’re getting into and have a good idea of the current state of the home as it can help form your offer.

When you find the right home, be ready to act!

If you’ve managed to find the right home, then it would be best to act quickly as there’s a good chance you’re not the only one eyeing up that house. If you’re ready to make an offer, consider a few things before doing so. How much do other similar properties go for in the area? Does the property need some repairs? Have house prices dropped slightly since the home was first put on the market? We’d all love to knock a few thousand off the asking price, but the seller isn’t going to make such a concession easily, so if your offer is lower than the asking price, you’ll need to demonstrate why.

The Final Steps

Now before you finally put your offer on the table, try and organise all the other pieces of the puzzle beforehand so you are ready to go as soon as it’s accepted. If you’re a first-time buyer then one of your major benefits is that you don’t have to organise selling your own home, but if you can organise such things as surveys and solicitors then it’ll make the process much smoother.

Fife Properties Group Office Owner, Jim Parker said, “It is a daunting process of making an offer but the most important thing is to establish what funds you have. This means getting the financing right and speaking to a specialist mortgage broker to help get the best deal.”

If you want to book a FREE initial consultation with our specialists please tap the link to contact any of our local offices or book online https://www.fifeproperties.co.uk/contact/

Housing supply and demand are both on the up

If you’re of the mindset that the property market is in the midst of a period of difficulty, then the latest figures from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) will surely change your mind, with both the supply of housing and the demand for housing at increased levels proving the market’s current health.

The NAEA Propertymark’s latest figures have shown that the supply of available housing increased by 20% in December. The number of properties reached the highest level for December since 2014, with housing supply per branch increasing to 42 – an increase from 35 per branch in November. Simultaneously, the number of house hunters also increased by 8% in December, with overall demand up 13% year-on-year.

Mark Hayward, chief executive at NAEA Propertymark, said: “This month’s findings prove that despite the current political climate, people still want to move. There is movement in the market with demand from house hunters up 13% year-on-year, and the supply of available properties also rising. Although the number of sales agreed hit a 12-month low, this is something we always see in December, with Christmas festivities typically taking priority over any plans to buy or sell.

“While many are adopting a ‘wait and see’ strategy until there’s further clarity over what Brexit might mean for the market, there is choice for those who want to buy now, and there are people on the market looking for new homes.”

First-time buyer sales also showed an increase in December, with the number of properties sold to the group increasing to 24%. With first-time buyers integral to the health of the property market, rising statistics in terms of their buying potential is always a good indicator of the viability of the market.

As we move further into 2019, it is difficult to predict whether the health of the market will remain consistent in the face of political instability and the financial effects of this lack of consistency. On the other hand, there are other macroeconomic conditions which are favourable for the health of property across the country, such as historically low-interest rates and the relative ease to obtain mortgage credit. These conditions mean that more people than ever are in a position to take out a mortgage and purchase a property, with schemes also available to alleviate the trouble which some find in saving for a deposit, and this increased demand should shore up the market even after Brexit has (or indeed, hasn’t) taken place.

Fife Properties Group Office Owner, Jim Parker said, “It is always best to get a specialist to help get the best deal on financing. Often it far outweighs the fee for arranging the mortgage itself”

If you want to book a FREE initial consultation with our specialists please tap the link to contact any of our local offices or book online https://www.fifeproperties.co.uk/contact/

What are the top priorities for buyers looking for a home?

Good schools, good commuter links and a good kitchen; traditionally, this is what has been considered to be the magic triad of priorities for buyers.  However, new research has suggested that this is no longer the case. Read on to see what buyers are prioritising whilst on the hunt for a new property…

A poll from a regulated property buyer has shown that a budget supermarket has ousted the school catchment area for one of the top spots in buyer priorities, with almost 40% of those surveyed stating their desire to live within close proximity to an Aldi or Lidl. School catchment areas remain high on the wish list of buyers with 29% saying that they would move home in order to be in a specific catchment area.

The desire for good-value shopping could be linked to the need to economise after purchasing a new property, so it is no surprise that it is the younger generations who rate the budget supermarket highest; some 54% of 18 to 24-year olds want to live near to one. This figure gradually declines to 34% of over 45s sharing the same view.

The outright top spot on buyer priorities, however, is for a scenic view with 44% of people preferring a property with scenic surroundings. Budget supermarkets follow this in second place, and local bars and restaurants come in at third in the wish list of buyers.

“Everyone has their own priorities when moving to a new house, but it’s interesting to see how the overall patterns are changing. Budget supermarkets are definitely growing in popularity, especially among the younger generations, and their presence in a region is now making a place more desirable to live,” said Ross Counsell, director at Good Move.

Once a property move is completed, research also revealed what people first investigate once they have moved to a new area. Public transport links are the first item which people look into with 21% of people researching this immediately, followed by local schools, crime rates and broadband speeds.

Fife Properties Group Office Owner, Jim Parker said, “It is no surprise that budget supermarkets are moving up the list of priorities as people realise every penny counts. So it is just as important to get the best mortgage deal and that means a specialist to check you are better off. Often it far outweighs the fee for arranging the mortgage itself”

If you want to book a FREE initial consultation with our specialists, please tap the link to contact any of our local offices or book online https://www.fifeproperties.co.uk/contact/

Buyers rush to beat Brexit: mortgage approvals increase

Research from chartered surveyor e.surv has shown that mortgage approvals reached a peak of 66,390 in December of last year, which amounts to a 7.8% annual increase. This seasonal rise has led to claims that there is a pre-Brexit rush to purchase property, and that the political uncertainty arising from the imminent break with Europe is actually fuelling current demand in the property market.

Commenting on the figures, Richard Pike, sales and marketing director for Phoebus Software, said:

“It is hard to talk about anything at the moment without mentioning the ‘Brexit’ word: it is all-consuming and there is little doubt that it continues to affect the housing market.

“The fact that house purchase approvals were up in December suggests that people are planning ahead and making their move before the March deadline. Interestingly the number of remortgage approvals took a dip compared to the same month in 2017, which bucks the trend throughout the rest of the year.”

“Nonetheless, I would expect it to be the remortgage sector that will be keeping the mortgage market going in the coming months, as we wait to see how our exit from the EU pans out.”

Throughout the year, types of mortgage being approved also reflected the influx of first-time buyers in the property market, with mortgage products offering loans at 95% of a property’s value increasing in popularity.

Data showed that over a quarter of mortgages approved in December were taken out by borrowers with a small deposit (less than 20%), and this was also the case in November. A key step-change in property has been the introduction of government schemes in order to alleviate the headache of saving for a deposit, and these statistics show that this is having some success in the marketplace.

Tony Sutton, managing director of mortgage brokerage group Specialist Financial Services, said lenders have become more competitive as they seek to protect their market share.

Mr Sutton said: “There is a wider choice of products available, serving a broader range of people with more sensible underwriting decisions.

“Lenders are trying to maintain market share and have increased the terms they are willing to offer.”

Such an increase in mortgage offerings has clearly made the process of gaining a mortgage easier than ever before – with some lenders even offering 100% mortgages on properties in an effort to maintain their place in the marketplace. With more options available offering more flexibility, it is no wonder that mortgage approvals have increased, which bodes well for the year ahead for property.

Fife Properties Group Office Owner, Jim Parker said, “It is a highly competitive market out there and to stay ahead of the game it is always best to get a specialist to help get the best deal. Often it far outweighs the fee for arranging the mortgage itself”

If you want to book a FREE initial consultation with out specialists please tap the link to contact any of our local offices or book online https://www.fifeproperties.co.uk/contact/