Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life. However, with the right advice, it needn’t be daunting. We’ve teamed up with Dermot Bannon to bring you ‘Coffee on the house’ in which industry experts explain everything to do with buying a home, step by step, in straightforward language.
Saving the mortgage deposit
One of the biggest challenges that first-time buyers face is where to find enough money for the mortgage deposit. ‘There’s nothing sexy about it,’ Financial Wellbeing coach Ailish tells Dermot that sitting down and doing a budget, really is the best step you can take. She advises prospective homebuyers to sit down with a pen and paper and write down all their financial outgoings in order to make their spending habits visible. Once you make spending visible, you can see where you may be able to save money and create a new savings habit for your mortgage deposit.
Getting help from a mortgage specialist
When you’re a first-time buyer, there a lot of unknowns. ‘There’s so much to learn,’ says Judy, who recently bought her first home, and got help from a mortgage specialist. Judy’s mortgage specialist helped by walking her through the entire mortgage and home-buying process from start to finish, explaining everything to her step by step. It made the whole experience a lot easier and the best thing was it was ‘completely free’.
Getting your mortgage ‘approval in principle’ upfront
Before you start looking seriously for a house, you want to know that you can make an offer. ‘A house-hunter mortgage approval in principle is valid for 12 months’ explains Sean Buckley from Bank of Ireland. Being able to show that you’ve already been approved for a mortgage gives you confidence when house-hunting and is something that estate agents look for. It gives you an edge over everybody else.
Common misconceptions about the mortgage process
Dermot takes a break from brewing coffee to sit down with Sean Buckley from Bank of Ireland for a long chat, as they discuss the common misconceptions around the mortgage process.
What to look for when buying a home
The old saying, ‘location, location, location’ still holds true. As Dermot knows, you can change many things about a house but the one thing you cannot change is its location. ‘Pick a good location, that’s the most important thing,’ Angela Keegan from MyHome.ie says, ‘because you’re establishing a home.’
Tips for finding the perfect home
Dermot Bannon grabs himself an Americano, to sit down with Angela Keegan to ask her for her top hints and tips for finding your perfect home.
What to watch out for when viewing a home
If you see a crack in a property you’re thinking of buying should you walk away? Surveyor, David O’ Meara, says he has a good rule of thumb, ‘if you can put a pencil in it, I would definitely further investigate.’ Speak to a structural engineer so you can find out what action might be needed to fix the issue and how much it might cost. If the costs are reasonable then you can make an informed decision on whether to go ahead or not.
How do you find a good solicitor?
Your solicitor will be at the heart of your home-buying process so getting someone that you can trust for such a big purchase is important. We asked solicitor Johanna Lacy how she would suggest that first-time buyers should choose their solicitor. ‘Ask your family and friends – someone you trust who has been through the process,’ she says. Above all, choose a solicitor who is happy to communicate with you regularly and to keep you in the loop. If you want to learn more about a solicitor’s involvement in your mortgage journey listen to Episode 4 of our Mortgage Podcast.
Tips when looking for a new home
What do you want from your new home? Dermot says when looking for a home there are many things to consider, but his top tip is that all first-time buyers should make a list of all the things they want from their new home then find a home that will meet those needs or at least has the potential to fulfil them. ‘Potential is the word,’ says Dermot. Whether that is space to the side for a garage or out back for an extension, think about your needs now and in the future.
Avoiding interior decoration mistakes in your new home
Everyone wants to make their new home their own by putting their own stamp on it. ‘The big issue is that they rush into it,’ says interior designer, Jenny Coughlan from the Collab Design Studio, who advises first-time buyers to slow down and take their time. Before getting out the paintbrush, she suggests that new homeowners gather samples of everything – paint, fabrics, tiles, wood finishes – then put together a mood board to work out what goes well together.
Tackling the garden in your new home
Before you begin planting a garden outside your new home, says gardening expert Diarmuid Gavin, you need to get to know the plot. That means working out which direction the garden faces, what parts of the garden have sun at what times of the day, what plants you want to grow and what the soil is like. ‘Improving the condition of the soil is the single best investment you can make,’ says Diarmuid.
Talk to us today about your mortgage, whether you saving for a deposit or ready to start looking for your dream home.
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