Advice for a 1st time buyer

what would it be?

Asking for a m8.

Visit lots of different places even if you know you're probably not going to buy them. It helps you figure out when you're in the one you want.

Don't borrow the maximum you can afford if you're buying a place which needs some work.


Saving longer and getting a 20% deposit will get you a much better mortgage deal.


Ensure you get a deal which allows you to overpay without penalties.

Use a proper conveyancing sol who has been recommended to you rather than going for a conveyancing firm.

Inform yourself about good and bad periods of construction in the area you're looking in. 1780s and 1950s good, 2000s bad, for example.

The day you buy is the day you sell, your first impressions as your guide to what prospective buyers will think of it when you come to sell

Always work out where the sun hits the house/apartment/windows at what time of day. The sun is an under-appreciated source of household heating.

View at different times of day and night and weekend

This is all too general, tell us more about yr pal / money / area  if you want more useful advice.

1. Estate agents are pathological liars. Don't believe anything the fuckers say. 

2. Trust your gut instincts

3. Trust your surveyor even more

4. Visit the property at different times of day / night. Especially in London, some pleaces seem to transform at night time

5. Don't underestimate the value of outside space

6. If buying a flat, really press for information about how the management works and what the costs are. Don't be afraid to knock on a neighbours door and ask their opinion.

"The day you buy is the day you sell,"


I was just a bit sick in my mouth. 


Once you think you've found somewhere go back and visit at different times of day in case it turns out to be on a short cut from a rowdy pub at closing time or the like.

Also go round when the neighbours are likely to be home to see what you can hear especially if it's a flat with neighbours above and below.

Remember the neighbourhood will change and that supermarket at the end of the road may apply to have longer opening hours, etc.

^Wot Dusty sed re using decent solicitors.  And NEVER use the firm the estate agent recommends. 


Anything else is a false economy (as MJJ and I have discovered over the past THREE FUCKING MONTHS, ffs).

Don't be afraid to knock on a neighbours door and ask their opinion.

I like this one.

using sols recommended  by mortgage broker. is that not good?

oh yes, what Wellington said. And ask local shopkeepers and the police station.

outside the property:


big tree?


bus stop?

As others have said definitley visit ant night, when I bought my first place, I soon discovered a street lamp that faced my bedroom,which in the beginning was very irritating. 

Know the market.  Analyse all sales in the immediate area over the last (at least) two years so you know what the going rate per sq ft is. Estate agents pretend that sale prices don't just depend on £/sq ft but they do really.

Make sure it gets southern light.

Get a survey.

Equally there was Bus stop, on what is a very quiet back road, that I have driven and walked down thousands of times. What I didn't bargain for that three times a day the bus frequency increased massively, owing to school start and finish times, and then, "rush hour" 

on street lamps, you can actually buy and install blinds or curtains, so I wouldn't really regard them as the most essential issue

Wibble it was not invisible, but notwithstanding there were lights on the road in question, they were mostly not used at night.

Make sure you borrow less than the maximum you can afford and arrange to pay it back more quickly than is required.

You may have to buy a cheaper car or fewer jumpers for five years but it is really worth it as you pay much less interest to banks over a working life and so end up with more money for the cars / jumpers / vanilla spice lattes of your choice.  

Prepare for it to drop in value by 50% on October 31, and by another 50% when Corbyn gets in

another thing about parking:


fvckers round here park all over the residents’ parking zone without buying a ticket and seem to get away with it by leaving dashboard notes saying church congregation.

parking warden says they have no dispensation but the wardens too scared to ticket them. ( but they have no compunction ticketing me if one wheel is 4 cm over the line).

From what Minkie said look at what's around as I used to live next to a big supermarket and parking on Saturday and Sunday morning was a nightmare as everyone doing their weekly shop would park on my road so they didn't have to pay and display in the supermarket car park.

Don’t exchange on a Friday as when it all goes tits up you have to wait until Monday / stay in their office until past 7pm stopping them going to their Christmas party so you can get the keys

Don't reveal your mortgage offer. If asked to substantiate your financial position, ask for a letter from your mortgage provider confirming you are good for the offer amount only.

If the estate agent tries to sell you a mortgage, say your brother-in-law is a mortgage broker. Ditto for conveyancing and insurance products.  If you must speak with their financial advisor / upseller -in-chief, insist it's only a phone call rather than face to face pressure.

Test your work commute if possible, at commuting time.

Get a full survey.  Estate agent will try to tell you it's not necessary, but it's worth it imo. You can sue them if they miss something shocking.

Take a sensible friend to view the place if you think this is "the one" for their opinion.

If you're buying in a high demand area and everyone is trying to jump on properties the moment they hit the market, try the opposite.  Search for the properties that have been on the market the longest.  Maybe there's a deal to be made (obvs be careful in case there's a terrible reason it's still on the market).