Buying your first home is a magical moment, the culmination of an arduous journey and the start of a whole new adventure.
First-time buyers have often found it difficult to get onto the ladder, but a recent move by the government to help is likely to spark a boom, according to The Guardian. New buyers will have a choice of a better deal requiring as little as a 10% deposit, meaning a far greater choice for customers. It is a move likely to appeal to first-time buyers more than any, who will have no equity to use as a deposit as many existing homeowners have. Residents in Brighton have less disposable income than other parts of the UK, so it is certainly good news for those wanting to get on the ladder in BN1.
It will hopefully mean a glut of brand-new homeowners this time next year in the UK, but that is only the start of the journey. Walking through the door of your new home is exhilarating, but it is certainly an advantage to know a few of these handy tips to help get you through the first few weeks and months.
The first thing you should do is get to know your house and the local area. If a pipe burst tomorrow, would you know where the stopcock was in your new home? If the electricity goes off, could you find the fuse box to turn sections back on? These are basics that you may never need to know, but if you do not it could be problematic.
Knowing the area is key, too. The HomeOwners Alliance believe you should identify whether your new area is a burglary hotspot, and whilst you may have found that out before you move, it is certainly worth understanding your area as much as possible, the bad aspects and the good. Also, take time to understand the physical layout of your new local area, even before you move in: locate the nearest shop, doctor’s surgery, hospital and bank. These are the sorts of places you might need in a hurry, and knowing where they are gives you peace of mind.
Protecting your family is important and in a new home, that might be a little daunting. The very first thing you should do is change the locks. You cannot be sure who has keys to your property, an old neighbour maybe, or the former resident. To be sure nobody can gain access to your home, change the locks immediately. Also, check any alarms you may have before you close your eyes on the first night, whether it is the burglar alarms, fire alarms or carbon monoxide detectors.
Your new mortgage almost certainly has buildings insurance, but on your completion date make sure you have other insurance in place, too. Have you protected your belongings with contents insurance? It would be heartbreaking to spend a couple of nights in your new home and fall victim to crime, with contents insurance still on your ‘to do’ list. Also, you will know little of the property history in terms of boiler age, plumbing system and the like, so seriously consider some additional cover for essential services. HomeServe’s gas and boiler cover comparison guide, details how you can obtain a service for your boiler as part of the protection. You can also cover the electrics, plumbing and drainage too, giving you peace of mind against a breakdown.
Finally, make sure you have a maintenance plan for the property. It might be 12 months or even two years, but if jobs need doing try to set yourself a schedule to get them done. By having a clear plan, with dates and possible costs, you can ensure you get around to the jobs you feel need doing in a timely and effective manner.
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