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1st time home-buyer needs your advice, please

(8 Posts)
oilandwater Thu 12-Feb-09 14:19:29

I'm just beginning to look for a house / flat to buy in London. Have never done this before in UK(or elsewhere for that matter) so I was hoping you all could share some wisdom...

Do you have any general tips/suggestions for househunting?

Anything that, in hindsight, you wished you had done, hadn't done or done differently?

Interested in hearing even minor things...

Thanks in advance!

lalalonglegs Thu 12-Feb-09 14:58:51

First and foremost: get your finances sorted out so that when you find a place that you like, you are in a good position to put in an offer because you have a mortgage etc in place and can prove to the estate agent you are serious (NB: never use a mortgage-broker attached to an estate agency).

Apart from that, decide on what you want in terms of area and size, what you absolutely have to have and what would be nice but isn't essential.

Be prepared to see a lot of dross - estate agents always show you the crap first in the hope that you will buy what no one else wants. Don't rush into anything - even if you really, really like somewhere give yourself at least a week before a second viewing and then wait even longer to put in an offer.

Negotiate hard. If you are rubbish at that, find a friend/relative to do it on your behalf. If they do get a good discount then act quickly before vendor can change mind and this means having good solicitor in place.

Use websites such as to check on sale prices for similar properties in street/area.

Don't fall in love with a particular house/flat if you don't feel quite as sure about the area - always compromise on the property to get into an area you love.

Sorrento Thu 12-Feb-09 15:07:50

Rent for 6 months in the place you'd like to buy it can be money well spent.

MadamDeathstare Thu 12-Feb-09 15:12:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MadamDeathstare Thu 12-Feb-09 15:14:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

oilandwater Thu 12-Feb-09 15:21:05

thanks everyone. All very good and helpful advice. keep it coming!!!

goldenpeach Fri 13-Feb-09 22:36:30

Check prices of streets on Prices in certain London areas have crashed massively, so question those asking prices! I lived in Hackney and Walthamstow and recommend the latter (prices are really down there and you could pick a bargain). Lots of Victorian stock there. A Nice area in East London is Wanstead, a bit more expensive but lovely villagey feel. Good luck

navyeyelasH Fri 13-Feb-09 23:05:49

Install property bee and don't take any crap from estate agents.

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