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Buying Your First Home – Where to Start

Buying Your First Home – Where to Start

Buying a home can be a very exciting time and marks an important milestone in your life. If you’re thinking of buying for the first time, then you know that a lot of work and research goes in to finding the perfect house to make a home. Is the preparation of buying proving to be a tad bit too stressful for you? Laferla’s here to help by outlining the purchase process and providing you with a list of things to keep in mind before choosing the perfect abode, as well as great home insurance plans to go along with your choice!

Affording a Home

Before you start house hunting, it’s ideal to have an idea of the type of property you’re looking for. What size of property do you have in mind?  Would you prefer a modern apartment or a house of character?  What about the area you’d like to live in?  It’s all about location after all!

It’s also important to set your budget and decide on how you’ll finance your purchase. Don’t forget to factor in all expenses which may include furniture, refurbishing, service fees and so on. In the case of a home loan, notary fees, architect charges and permit costs will also have to be calculated within your budget.

A visit to your local bank can help you to gain insight into the property prices that you can afford and can help you to choose the right home loan that’s suitable for you. Also, don’t forget, first time buyers can now benefit from up to €5,000 in stamp duty until the 31st December 2016. So get cracking!

Searching for a Property

It’s time to start searching for your dream home. You can start off by doing your own research by searching online or looking through property magazines and other print media. Alternatively, you can contact a real estate agent who will be able to guide you in finding the right home that fits your budget and suits your needs. Keep in mind, however, that real estate agents can charge a fee of up to 5% of your property value.

Finding the Right Area

When you’re looking for property don’t forget to look past the four walls of your home and consider the community around you. If you’ve got your eye on a particular property, it ‘ s helpful to take some time to get to know the neighbourhood a little better before making a choice. You should visit the area at different times of the day and the week to get the feel of how noisy or quiet it is. It’s also a good idea to give your your commuting time a trial run in the morning and evening to get an idea of  traffic patterns around the area.

Although rather inevitable, on our little island, find out if there is any construction planned to start in the area, the last thing you want is noisy cranes and heavy machinery right outside your door for months on end!

Negotiating a Price

If you purchase a property through an estate agent, then s/he will help you to negotiate a price. If not, you will have to negotiate directly with the seller. In this case, make sure that you make a fair and reasonable offer for the seller to consider. This can be negotiated at a later date. Doing some research on the property market is a good idea as it will show you how much other homes in the area have sold for recently.

Making Your Purchase

Once you are happy with the above research on your house it’s time to finalize your purchase.

When a price has been agreed on, you can move on to signing the preliminary agreement (‘Konvenju’) which binds you and the seller to the transaction. 1% of the payment would have to be paid upfront as stamp duty, together with a deposit. This is generally 10% of the agreed property price. Signing off the final deed will follow, once all legal requirements and financial agreements are seen to.

Leave The Rest Up to Us

Finally, you can give yourself a pat on the back for purchasing your very first home! Laferla, as one of the premier home insurance providers on the market, will take care of the rest with affordable home and content insurance. Laferla’s policy provides cover for accidental loss or damage to the buildings and/or contents of your home; your liability to others as well as 24/7 Emergency Assistance, including plumber, electrician and locksmith service. Click here to find out more about home insurance and get a free online quote today!