Buying a home is the most expensive purchase most of us will ever make. It is also a stressful process, and one that can stretch out for a long period of time. There are plenty of opportunities to make a mistake when you are buying a home in London, and there are some mistakes that are more common than others. Here's a list of some of the most common mistakes people make when buying a home in London, and some ways to avoid them.
Not getting pre-approved for a mortgage. London's real estate market is hot, and that means there are a lot of people looking for homes. Pre-approval for your mortgage amount before you start shopping for a house will provide you with a critical guideline when viewing properties. If you fail to get approved beforehand, your estimate as to how much you are able to spend on a home could be wrong, and you may waste time on properties that are outside your ideal budget range. Moreover, the process of approval can take a while, and you may find yourself losing out in a bidding war when the seller accepts an offer from a buyer with funds already in place.
Failing to have a home inspection done. Getting the home you are interested in buying inspected before making an offer is something that many buyers fail to do, to their detriment. By paying the small price for the home inspection beforehand, you may save yourself thousands of dollars in the long run. Most buyers, and for sure their realtors, have an idea about how to judge the cosmetic parts of a house's makeup: room layout, paint and carpets, appliances, that kind of thing. What an inspector will do is check the structural integrity and the "bones" of the building, and make sure there aren't any hidden problems that could really cost you in a few months or years.
Failing to negotiate. Buying a home in London is a business transaction, and the price is not final. Don't be scared to offer what you think is fair on the house, rather than just agreeing to the asking price. You can also bargain for additions to the package; getting the sellers to leave some new appliances as part of the deal can save you a lot of money. "Inclusion clauses" can be your friends, and you shouldn't be afraid of using them!
Using your heart, not your head. There is a lot of emotional involvement in buying a home, but always remember that it is business. A certain house in London may seem like the perfect one for you, but sometimes the owners will be committed to a price that is just too high. You have to be ready to walk away if you think you are getting a bad deal, no matter how much you may love the house. Also, never take the seller at their word, no matter how kind they may be. It's in your best interest to do a check on the deed to ensure there are no liens or other owners.
The key to avoiding most of the common mistakes in buying a London home is to approach the matter as coldly as possible. You will find the perfect house for you, just remember that if the price is too high or something is questionable, it isn't perfect.