As a young person and to move for the first time it’s a very big change in your life. It’s exciting but also scary. Suddenly you need to take responsibility for you own place, your own bills to pay and maybe no more asking mum or dad for help financially. While working as realtor I saw many young people coming to buy their first flat/studio. Many of them had help from their parents and some managed it by themselves. I always loved to give the right advice to them and see them happy after signing the papers.
I want to share some simple advice to you who are about to buy your first home. I’m gonna make it very simple and not to complicated. Just remember, there are different rules in different countries but some things I think are universal for all of us.
First of all, don’t start looking for a place until you have your budget figured out. What I mean is, it’s just gonna make you disappointed not knowing what you are able to buy. Make sure you saved up for the deposit. In Sweden you need to have 15 % of the price on the listing. Today it is a lot of money and can be difficult for many to move. I know you wish for your dream home but see it as a start. Your first apartment is the first most important purchase in real estate. It sets the ground for you to sell and to move later on. Maybe you become two and the you want to start a family and so on. See what you have in savings and then book appointment with you bank advisor. They will count for you how much you are able to take as a loan compare to you income. I always said to my clients who were out looking, before they put a bid on a listing, I wanted to make sure they were done with the loan from their bank and also had it on a document. This secures it both for the buyer and the owner who is selling.
Once you have your amount of how much loan you can take, you can begin the search. Call realtors, book time for showings and just get out there. It’s good to have a look at a couple of listings before deciding. But sometimes it happens that you feel this is the one. Check first how much the area has in it’s average square meter price. This is very important for you to know before getting out there. It’s your investment so take control over it. Ask the realtor, but of course we will make it as positive as possible since it is our duty to work for highest price for the owner. But you can always ask. Don’t forget to compare, if you see an apartment with same square meters but higher/lower price, find out why it is like this. Everything depends on the plan, what level the flat is on, if it’s renovated or not. All of these things sets the price also. Don’t forget, leave your feelings outside, this is business and it’s tough.
As a realtor we always first check the location. This is number one. Location, location, location. I don’t care how many people say that this and that are good here. If the location is not an A then the price will go after that. Either way, you will pay for the location, which usually means of course a higher price. But this is worth it in the end. Close to the metro and busses are also something that is very important. When it comes to attractive areas and you feel like this is important then go for that. If you don’t feel like that’s number one of your list then that’s fine too. Just make sure to always count and see what’s been sold in that specific adress you want to live in.
When you go to showings, take someone with you. It is always good to have someone with experience. Maybe you forget to ask the realtor about something but then you have your friend to remember to ask. Todays market is much slower now then just one-two years ago. It sold so fast so it’s important to follow up how the market is working. What that means, the market is you, the buyer. If the buyers are aggressive it means that you need to be too. Many people could come to me after and ask why they din’t got the chance. But everybody who was on a showing with me got the chance, they were just not fast enough like another buyer. Like I wrote before, it’s business. Not a store were you can try the clothes ten times. Maybe a little ruff to hear but better to be honest.
Once you decided for a place, then you can start to negotiate. To bid on a property is not a game. Some people have tried different tactics and honestly, I don’t know why since it never worked for them. Be clear what you want and do not hesitate once you have started. Put a limit for how high you are able to go and what you think it’s worth it. Be always prepared that there can be another buyer who maybe is tuffer, knows about the market better or just have more money then you to pay. That’s why I want you to be prepared of all scenarios. So if you feel like it’s going to fast, this is something just how it can be. If it’s too slow, happens too depends on everything around. Nothing is written in stone how an actual bidding is taking place. Follow the negotiation. And don’t be nervous. You already set the limit so you can always stop once whenever you want to.
I hope it cleared up your thoughts and questions. You can always comment and ask something else that is on your mind. Good luck!