BELFAST CITY CENTRE: 028 9013 7392 | EAST BELFAST OFFICE: 028 9560 9410 | ORMEAU ROAD, BELFAST: 028 9521 9349 | LISBURN RD BELFAST: 028 9521 9351 | DROMORE: 028 9210 6060 | LISBURN: 028 9279 4300 | ARMAGH: 028 3743 0770 | LURGAN: 028 3898 4004 | DUNGANNON: 028 8747 0270 | COOKSTOWN: 028 8673 1055  | COALISLAND: 075 6180 7334

Contact Your Local Branch
BELFAST, CITY CENTRE: 028 9013 7392
BELFAST, EAST OFFICE: 028 9560 9410
BELFAST, ORMEAU ROAD: 028 9521 9349
BELFAST, LISBURN ROAD: 028 9521 9351
DROMORE: 028 9210 6060
LISBURN: 028 9279 4300
ARMAGH: 028 3743 0770
LURGAN: 028 3898 4004
COOKSTOWN: 028 8673 1055
DUNGANNON: 028 8747 0270
COALISLAND: 075 6180 7334

Top 5 Essential Tips for Purchasing a Home

by | Jan 8, 2024 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

Are you reaching the point of wanting to expand your horizons and purchase your very own home? At the Mortgage Clinic in Cookstown we hear you and this is why we have put together a blog to answer some of those queries or questions you might have on your mind.

Whether you are a first time buyer or you already have added many properties to your belt. It is important to understand what is going on currently with the housing market with professionals that deal within this type of market.

Our team is qualified within the housing market and can explain all the intricacies of what comes with acquiring a home or what you may not know has changed with the current housing market. They cover everything from mortgages and interest rates to navigating property listings and negotiating deals.

Whether it’s figuring out how much you can afford, understanding mortgage terms, or even just deciding what kind of house you want, the Mortgage Clinic in Cookstown has got you covered. We know it can be a bit overwhelming as there are many people in the same boat as you so don’t worry, keep reading to find out our essential tips for purchasing a home.

Let’s Break Down Your Budget

So, where do we start? Your budget, of course. It’s not just pulling a number out of thin air, it’s figuring out what lenders think you can comfortably handle. We’ve got this great tool at The Mortgage Clinic, called an affordability calculator, that helps you get a real sense of what you can borrow.

We work with a bunch of different lenders to find something that really suits your financial situation. You never know you might end up qualifying for more than you thought possible. Just remember, it’s important to factor in all those extra costs like building insurance and mortgage protection to get the full picture of your budget and what you can afford.

Where Do You Want to Live?

Next up is figuring out where you want to plant your roots. Choosing the right place is super important and should match up with your lifestyle and what you need in your day-to-day life. Are you dreaming of a busy city vibe with great transport links and handyness to everything nearby such as food and retail shops, or maybe you’re after a quiet spot near schools and nature reserve walking areas? It’s a good idea to jot down a list of your priorities for your new neighbourhood;it’ll be a lifesaver when you’re hunting for that perfect place.

But here’s a little tip from us; keep an open mind. While it’s great to know exactly what you want, sometimes being a bit flexible can open doors to amazing places you hadn’t even considered. We always encourage a good, thorough search at The Mortgage Clinic, but also suggest peeking outside your usual box. You never know, the perfect home might be in a place you hadn’t thought about before.

Be Aware of All Associated Costs

Getting your mortgage sorted is a huge part of buying a house, but it’s just the beginning. It’s super important to be clued up about all the other expenses that come with buying a home.

Keep an eye out for things like arrangement fees from lenders; these can vary a lot and might catch you off guard. If you’re looking at properties over £125,000, don’t forget about stamp duty costs. There’s also solicitor’s fees and property survey costs to think about. These can all add up, so including them in your financial planning from the get-go is key.

Once you’ve got the keys, don’t forget you might have some extra spending to do on home improvements or moving costs. These can sometimes add up to more than you expected, so having a good, rounded budget plan is crucial. At the Mortgage Clinic our team will be able to help you figure out all the costs involved. It’s all about being prepared for every part of your home-buying journey.

Understanding Different Mortgage Rates

Okay, let’s jump into something super important: choosing your mortgage rate. It’s a bit like picking the right pair of shoes; what works for one person might not be the best for another. At The Mortgage Clinic, we’ve got a few different options, and here’s the lowdown on each:

Fixed-Rate Mortgage

Imagine having the same mortgage payment every month for years; no surprises, no sudden changes. That’s what a fixed-rate mortgage is all about. You lock in your rate for a set period, say 2 to 10 years, and that’s that. The downside? If interest rates drop, you won’t get to benefit from those lower rates.

Tracker Rate Mortgage

This one’s a bit more unforeseeable. Your mortgage rate goes up and down based on external rates, like the Bank of England base rate. If those rates fall, your payments do too (win!). But if they rise, so do your payments. That’s why we say the tracker rate mortgage is a bit unpredictable, this is usually two or five years.

Variable Rate Mortgage

With a variable rate mortgage, your payments can change based on the lender’s own variable interest rate. If their rates go down, you could save some money. But if they go up, so will your payments. It’s a bit of a gamble, but sometimes it pays off.

We’re all about getting to know you and your situation. It’s not just about throwing a mortgage at you and calling it a day. We consider your budget, your feelings about risk, and your plans for the future. That way, we can find a mortgage that really fits you like a glove.

The Buying Process

Now for why you are really here, let’s chat about the actual process of buying a house. It can be a bit more involved and take longer than you might think, especially if you’re new to this. Understanding what each step involves can make everything much smoother.

After your offer on a house is accepted (which is always a great feeling), you might think it’s now time for moving in. But there’s a bit more to it. The journey from your offer being accepted to exchanging contracts and finally getting the keys can take several months. There are lots of legal and financial bits that need sorting. But don’t stress, that’s what our team is here for. At The Mortgage Clinic in Cookstown, we take care of everything from your first mortgage application right through to the final completion. We’re here to make sure your journey to homeownership is as smooth and hassle-free as possible.

Working with a pro mortgage broker like us can really make a difference. Our team really takes the stress out of buying a property from the get go. From all kinds of property purchases; first homes, investment properties, commercial spots, you name it.

So if you’re on the hunt for friendly, expert mortgage advice and a team that’s with you every step of the way, give us a call at The Mortgage Clinic in Cookstown.

Helmut Elstner

Managing Director – Independent Mortgage Broker and Insurance Advisor

Helmut started working in financial services in early 2012 and founded The Mortgage Clinic in Belfast in early 2015. He specialises in all types of mortgages from First Time Buyer, Co-ownership, Self Build, Home Movers, Remortgages, Debt consolidation, to Buy to Let.

Three Best Rated Winner 2021
Winner Mortgage Broker of the year 2020
Top Rated Advisor 2021 on Vouchedfor