Choosing the right property

by Leeds Building Society

Warning: THE MORTGAGED PROPERTY (WHICH MAY BE YOUR HOME) MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE

A place to call home

During 2014, first-time buyers bought an estimated 326,500* homes, the highest number for seven years. When buying your first home, the number of properties and decisions can seem overwhelming.

Now is the time to research, talk to friends and decide exactly what you want from your first property. A structured approach to your property search and a clear set of criteria will ensure you’re in the best possible position when choosing your first home.

To help we’ve put together some important factors to consider before you buy your first home.

What’s your preferred location?

You might know exactly where you want to live but if you don’t research the local area. Narrow down your property search to one or two postcodes according to factors like travel links, local schools and crime levels.

Take a look at our property guide

House or flat?

A house might give you the extra outside space you need but a large garden can require a lot of maintenance. If you’re buying a flat you’ll need to find out if you’re buying the freehold (the land the property sits on) or the leasehold (the property until the lease on the land runs out). A flat is usually leasehold so you may need to factor in paying ground rent or a management fee.

Planning for the future

A one bedroom, city centre flat might suit you now, but what about the future. What if your partner moves in? What if you have children or pets? Make sure you think about what your future might hold before you put your roots down.

How’s your DIY?

If you’re good with a hammer, you might choose to buy a property that needs lots of work but is in your favourite area. Renovating a property takes time and patience but it’s could be the way to secure a larger property or a sought after postcode. However, major repairs like a roof replacement, damp removal or plumbing can be very expensive.

Take a look at our First Time Buyers guide for more information on buying your first home.

*Halifax First Time Buyers review 2014

This guide is intended as a summary only and does not constitute legal advice given by Leeds Building Society. No reliance should be placed on this guide and you must make your own decisions, we recommend that you seek legal and/or financial advice if you have any questions or queries.