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Is moving home harder than being a first time buyer?

By Mark Langshaw

Published: 8th May 2019 Last updated: 22nd January 2021

Whether you are a first time buyer or a second time buyer one of the first things you need to do is make sure your finances are in order:

  • Check your credit report
  • Pay off any debts you can afford to pay off
  • Do a budget plan to compare now vs outgoings in your first/second home
  • Speak to a mortgage broker to know exactly what you can borrow/afford to repay

As a first time buyer, you don’t have to worry about selling your home and all the things that come with it. However, it can feel a bit alien, something you haven’t done or experienced before. The struggle for first time buyers is real, apart from that short period of time where deposits were optional the regular first time buyer has to save for 3 -5 years to get a deposit and in the current climate – where house prices are climbing, it can feel like the goal posts are being moved.

What help is there for first time buyers?

There are things available to first time buyers to help them save a deposit quicker, such as the Lifetime ISA (LISA). This allows you to save up to £4,000 a year and the government will top up your account with a 25% bonus, so the maximum amount of “free” money you could receive in a year is £1,000. 

The Help to Buy ISA is a similar scheme, however, it closed to new applicants on 30th November 2019. For more information, read our guide

Are estate agents a first time buyers friend?

As first time buyers you take advice from professionals such as estate agents, however, you must remember estate agents are working on behalf of their client (the seller) so in regards to a property and/or property price try not to let the estate agents lead you to purchase a particular property or pay a price you aren’t happy with.

Most estate agents have arrangements with local solicitors, this can seem handy but is often overpriced, so could well be worth you making a few calls to get some alternative quotes yourself – this can seem daunting but is pretty simple and could quite easily save you a few hundred pounds.

Second time buyer

When you come to sell and move up the property ladder some things become a little easier. You have bought a house before, therefore you have a slightly better idea of how the property market works. You have used a conveyancer before so you should have some knowledge on what to expect there.  The only problem is you have never had to sell a property before and that can sometimes be difficult as 60% of second time buyers claim it is more difficult being a second time buyer than buying your first home.

Estate agents can be a second time buyers best friend

Now you are in the driving seat, you are the client and the one paying for services. Getting the right estate agent is crucial, don’t fall into the trap of using the cheapest – sometimes its worth paying the premium. Getting the right estate agent will not only help you sell your home for the best price but they could help you find the exact property you want to buy. 

How to increase the chance of selling your property 

  • Keep the property maintained (inside and out)
  • Have the right asking price (do not overvalue)
  • Be flexible for people wanting to view (otherwise they may view somewhere else)
  • Do not moan about neighbours

Here is a comprehensive list of tips and ideas on how to sell your home quicker.

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