Buying a home for the first time can be pretty tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing. You’ve doubtless heard plenty of horror stories about people being unable to buy their own home for years on end, or getting ripped off by estate agents and overpaying by thousands of pounds. However, it’s not that difficult once you know what you’re doing. Just follow the advice below, and you’ll soon be well on your way to owning your very own home!

First things first, you’ll want to start saving up for your deposit. This is usually somewhere between 5% and 20% of the total price of your new home. So, if you were looking to buy a house for around £120,000, you’d need to have around £6,000 in the bank before you start looking at properties. Having your deposit ready can make all the difference during the buying process, as you are able to instantly make an offer before someone else swoops in and takes the property from you. The more you save up, the wider your choice will be.

Actually finding a house can be a lengthy process, since the property market tends to move fast. However, if you’re working with an experienced estate agent, this stage of the process can be relatively stress-free. Just let the agent know your requirements, and they will be able to hunt down the perfect properties for you. If you’re tackling things by yourself, then it’s simply a matter of frequently checking up on the latest listings, and being ready to make a move quickly when you find a property that looks promising.

Once you’ve found a few houses that look like they might be perfect for you, it’s time to arrange a viewing. This is your chance to take a thorough look over the property itself, instead of just seeing it in photos, so it’s vital that you make the most of the opportunity. You should never underestimate first impressions- even before the viewing takes place, it’s a good idea to pay a visit and scope the property out from the street. This is a great way of getting a feel for not only the property itself, but also the surrounding location. Try to picture yourself living here- is it somewhere you would be happy in?

When it’s time for the viewing to take place, you should bring with you a list of questions that you’d like to ask the owner or whoever is showing you around. Once the viewing is underway, it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed, and all those things you’d meant to ask could slip out of your mind. You’ll want to know things like which fixtures and fittings will be left when the current owner moves out, and what work has been done on the property. If something doesn’t seem right then feel free to ask questions about it, but

If you like what you see, then it’s time for the final part of the process- making your offer. This is where that rapport you built with the owner during the viewing comes in handy. If you made sure to be friendly and polite during the viewing, then they will be more likely to accept your offer, instead of holding out for someone else. It’s tempting to try and get the lowest possible deal when making an offer, but remember that there will likely by other people also interested in the property. The market moves fast, and owners often find they have multiple buyers making offers at a time. Offer a fair price, and hope for the best. If your offer is accepted, then great, but don’t be too disappointed if you’re turned down. Just keep at it, and you’ll eventually find the perfect new home- all it takes is a little perseverance!