Your First-Time Home Buying Checklist

One of the biggest decision you'll probably have to make in your life is buying your own home. Quite undeniably, too, it will be your biggest financial commitment ever, and making sure you do things carefully will guarantee that your money never goes down the drain - and you won't be homeless as well.

If this is your first time to buy a property, you could be overwhelmed with the process that you have to go through, so have a look at these tips to ease your worries.

Put Your Budget on Top of Your Priorities

Buying a house in the first place is about your ability to afford it. If you have saved hundreds of thousands of pounds all your life, or you had a stroke of luck winning millions in the lottery, you buy a house in cash by all means. Otherwise, you are very likely to borrow to cover the costs. Consider getting a great mortgage deal as you talk to banks, brokers and financial advisers to make sure you'll be able to afford everything.

Location, Location and Location

Find and ideal property in a location where everything is possibly within reach, or at least quite close - shops, government office branches, schools, your place of work, etc.  If they're not within walking distances, at least consider something that's not going to be a long commute for you.

What You Need and What's Nice to Have

Determine the things you basically need in a home first - enough space and rooms, kitchen, garage, built, and energy efficiency among others. Then find out if they also have the things that you want - the possibility of an extension, a conservatory, converted attic, etc. Always put the "need" ahead of "what's nice to have" so you can stick to your budget. Don't miss viewing schedules so you'll have a chance to inspect the property for these things.

Feel Free to Ask

If you have doubts about the property or something's not clear, don't be afraid to ask questions. Estate agents and sellers themselves will be glad to answer them, especially if they feel you're serious about buying the house. Talk to them about what you think is great about the property and the challenges you have in mind. Negotiate the price to a reasonable amount and come down to an agreement.

The Legal Process

Once you and the seller agreed to transact, in comes a barrage of paperwork and tasks to be carried out - conveyancing.

It sounds ominous at first but it's just basically making sure that the ownership will be legally transferred to you as the transaction completes.

Find a conveyancer to help you with this ahead of time and you're likely to find yourself at a timeline advantage. They can also help you with negotiating the price if needed. Your conveyancing solicitor will come in very handy to make sure the the process is carried out to completion with the least amount of trouble, while making you understand what's going on.

Remember that buying a home is going to cost you a lot of money, so always find time to do your research and ask questions.