I’m a mortgage expert and here are six red flags for first-time buyers

It’s VERY easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying your first home, but new buyers need to watch out for some red flags.

The dream of yourself climbing the property ladder could mean that it’s easy to miss some warning signs that could land you in trouble later on.

First-time buyers should pay attention to these red signs when buying property


First-time buyers should pay attention to these red signs when buying propertyCredit: London & Country

Some problems can cost you thousands of dollars in do-it-yourself or repair costs, while others may mean you can’t get a mortgage to buy the place.

David Hollingworth, director of mortgage brokerage London & Country, says it’s important not to miss some of the notable signs of problem properties.

Real estate experts say it can be especially difficult for first-time buyers to know what to look out for, especially when there’s fierce competition for real estate.

Here are some red flags to watch out for.

Non-standard construction

As the Three Little Pigs discovered when the wolf knocked on the door, houses are best built with standard materials like bricks.

Properties made of anything out of the ordinary can give mortgage lenders a pause and possibly see your application rejected.

“Some construction methods, such as concrete, have suffered from problems over time, so lenders may want to be sure that remedial work has been done before they issue a mortgage,” says David. challenge.”

Other lenders will be happy to give you a mortgage once the property is valued – but you should make sure to do a survey to make sure you don’t face costly work in the future.

“Flag anything unusual to make sure it counts when you identify the right mortgage and the right lender,” says David.

Get a survey

Unusual construction is just one reason you should get a survey.

It’s easy to be drawn to a newly decorated home when you’re viewing the property, but you want to make sure the fresh paint won’t cover something more troublesome like damp.

A homebuyer survey is the intermediary between a simple valuation survey and a full structural selection, which can be very expensive.

“Knowing ahead of time that the property is doing well or what work might need to be done will give you a clear picture of the costs along the way – and may even mean you price can be negotiated.

Apartment on commercial premises

Apartments above a shop can be cheaper – as well as convenient if you need to get out – but there’s often a reason why an apartment seems like a bargain.

Commercial properties can prove to be an obstacle when applying for a mortgage.

Many lenders will be concerned that the property will be more difficult for them to see if the worst happens and they have to recover it.

“Lenders want property that will have broad appeal, and being on a commercial property can limit that, especially if you’re at a takeout restaurant, which can bring smell and now unpleasant on the question.”

It’s not impossible to mortgage such an apartment, but it’s worth noting that it can get harder to sell once you move in.

Japanese Knotweed

The dreaded plant may look pretty in the garden, but can be a nightmare for the homeowner.

The Japanese hollyhock is an invasive species that can cause damage to property and structures.

It is very difficult to remove and needs to be done by a specialist who will remove it correctly and make sure to prevent recurrence.

David: “If this valuation is obtained from the hollyhock tree there could be implications for mortgages.

“That will often depend on the severity of the problem and the proximity to the property – so a problem next door could even have an impact.”

Lenders are more flexible on this now than in the past, but it can still be a costly affair.

Rental property

If the home you’re buying is rental rather than free-to-own, you’ll want to check the small print.

Leases have been kicked off in recent years because of their punitive fees, and although this has improved, you still need to be careful what you sign up for.

Find out what the service and space fees are – and check for any terms that state how much these can add up.

“If it’s too much, this can put buyers down in the future, and lenders may not be willing to lend unless the terms are within their acceptable limits,” says David.

There have been cases where some landlords have seen their rent double every few years, costing them tens of thousands of pounds.

You should also find out how long your contract is left over – mortgage lenders generally don’t like terms under 80 years, and it can take thousands of years to renew a contract.

Solar power panels

Saving energy is a top priority for many households, especially when bills are running high.

But solar panels can sometimes cause problems for buyers and is something you should flag to your mortgage lender.

If you are buying a home with solar panels on, make sure you understand whether they are wholly owned or subject to a rental agreement.

“In the past, some lease terms didn’t match the lender’s requirements, although now there are more mortgage providers that can accept them,” says David.

“However, some lenders may want them to be fully owned, so it may be something to consider for you to flag in the first place.”

Solar panels can also affect your ability to resell your property in the future as some buyers find them annoying, so this is also worth keeping in mind.

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