Frequently asked questions of first-time buyers

Being a first-time buyer in a new country can be daunting, here’s a look at some of the most common questions we get asked.

How much can I borrow?

It is always a good idea to organise your finances before looking at properties. Lenders will only make a mortgage available to you if they think you can realistically afford it. The bank reviews your outgoings and income and then decides what mortgage they can offer you. This process ensures you don’t buy a property you can’t afford. It also sets your budget to save time and only focus your search on suitable properties. Having your finances in order will also allow you to quickly make an offer and close a deal when the time comes.

What are the normal mortgage requirements?

The standard requirements are that the mortgage can cover 70% of the price, and the buyer will need 30% plus costs. The costs are 7% transfer taxes on resales, 10% taxes on new buildings, plus solicitor, notary, etc. The buyers should add 10-13% on top of the price to cover everything.

Do I need a real estate agent?

Working with professional real estate agents means that you will have guidance throughout the whole home buying process which is invaluable when you are a first-time buyer. Your realtor will have invaluable local knowledge of the market and area, types of properties and information on upcoming new developments or even properties not on the market yet. Your real estate agent will listen to your unique requirements and help you find the perfect property for you. Then, when you make the initial offer, they are also there to assist with negotiation, closing and dealing with contracts.

What other costs are involved in buying a home?

There are many costs associated with buying a property; some examples may include the price of a home survey, property valuation fees, taxes & stamp duty, lawyers fees, removal costs and homeowners insurance. In addition, ask your real estate agent about additional monthly maintenance costs annual government and community fees that may be associated with the property, as this will be outside of your mortgage payments. Your bank, lawyer, and real estate agent will advise you on what you can expect, as this can vary depending on the property you purchase.

Do I need a home inspection?

If the real estate is local it will most of the time save you the costs of a survey, as the realtor will know the property its weaknesses and most of the units are part of a complex. The survey will only be necessary if there are doubts and not much information, and if it is a detached villa or you are planning a refurbishing that might affect structural issues.

Where should I buy a home?

At this stage, it’s a good idea to have a reputable real estate agent to help you find the right property to match your lifestyle and needs. It’s essential to find a location that is suitable for this. For example, are you a young couple looking to be near the city, or are you a young family needing a reputable school for your children? Your real estate agent will show you various options to help you define what you want.

If you are a first-time buyer and unsure about what steps to take first, then get in touch with our friendly trilingual team, who can assist you with every stage of the process of finding your dream home. We wish you the best in your new property search.
Contact our team at Serendip Properties for more information.

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