18 December, 2020
An adviser's guide to first-time homebuying
As the year draws to a close…..
Vivek, CEO: “Peter, people want to hear from you. Can you write a blog article for us?”
Me: “Absolutely. Count me in. What’s a blog?”
Simon, COO: “Peter, you’re on mute again!”
Having corrected the situation for the hundredth time, we decided on the title ‘An adviser's guide to first time homebuying’. But I’m still not sure what a blog is.
I’m on draft 34.
Me: “Guys, it’s not working, it’s either short and basically meaningless or it goes on for pages and pages. I want to run a series on the home buying process, similar to the debt series we ran earlier on in the year”.
Vivek: “Great idea, go for it. Can you have the first one ready for next week?”
Me: “Yep, no problem”
So, let’s get the basics over and done with first and answer a few questions.
Who is this guide for?
It may seem obvious, but for clarity this series has been written assuming that you have no real understanding of the homebuying process. You’re likely to be a first-time buyer, but you may or may not have started the homebuying journey. Your credit history might be good, bad or indifferent.
Don’t worry if you don’t know all these terms, we’ll cover them as we go along.
This guide is also aimed at second-time buyers who may have forgotten much of the process (although most don’t forget it in the short term!) or who maybe didn’t really get involved the first time round.
It’s not really aimed at people who are either looking to remortgage, although we will touch upon it in one of the latter articles regarding the ‘mortgage afterlife’. Similarly, this is not aimed at individuals looking to purchase property as an investment, what we call ‘Buy to Let’.
Who wrote it and why does that matter?
It’s been written by me, Peter, Head of Advice at Multiply. I’ve been in the financial advice industry since 1995 and seen both good and bad practices in the market. There are two things that my experience tells me are fundamentally important when it comes to looking after your finances - and they might not be what you expect.
Firstly, regardless of your level of financial acumen, everyone needs reassurance. For some, this may simply be a quick overview of what they’re doing and a “yep, you’re on track, keep going”. Others need hand-holding throughout the process. Many of you will be somewhere in between. What I can assure you is that there is no right or wrong place to be, as long as you are on the right path in the first place.
Secondly, knowledge is power. In the case of homebuying, understanding the process will help you feel in control. Additional ‘adviser tips’ will help you stay on track and feel confident throughout your journey.
As an adviser, I have always found imparting knowledge to people delivers 80% of what you need to take action. The other 20% is the reassurance that an expert is giving you the thumbs up.
Someone recently said to me that they liked me checking what they were doing because it was like having someone check their homework. If they got an ‘A*’ they felt reassured. Even if they got a lower score, they felt confident that I would help them get the knowledge and power they needed to improve their position.
How is the guide structured?
You will find a number of very good guides out there that cover the raw process of homebuying. I have found them useful myself while investigating how best to build this guide. However, I noted areas that I think are missing. Unless you are a regulated adviser, there are some areas you just can’t touch.
Luckily, I’m a regulated adviser and so is Multiply, so we have free reign (pretty much).
This guide will be split into a number of sections, directly aligned to the home buying process as we see it:
- Should I own? It’s not for everyone.
- Setting your target - Getting realistic
- Get to grips with the high level process - Knowledge is power
- Building your deposit - Keeping on track and boosting your saving
- Mortgage readiness - Making yourself attractive to lenders
- Finding your home - Now the fun begins
- Mortgage application - Let’s get serious.
- The viewings - Take a step back
- Making an offer - Seal the deal!
- Surveys and conveyancing - The boring stuff
- Exchange of contracts and getting insurance - Nearly there!
- Moving day! - It’s more than just moving in.
- Financial integration - Adjusting to being a homeowner
- Mortgage Afterlife - Maintaining a good deal and starting to build your wealth
We will release them one at a time, in order, to empower you with the necessary knowledge to buy your own home (if it’s right for you) and give you confidence in what you are doing.
As an adviser, I will point out key areas for your understanding and (where applicable) any actual points of advice.
So, that’s it for now and I look forward to discussing the important question of “Should I own?” in the new year. Until then - although for many of us it will be different this year - enjoy the Christmas break and see you soon in 2021.
Bonus adviser tips
- Don’t worry if you think your financial knowledge isn't strong. I probably couldn’t do your job either!
- I said earlier that ‘knowledge is power’ - so don’t feel that you can only read the section that applies to where you are right now.
- Seek reassurance in what you are doing and never be afraid to ask questions. Use our in-app ‘Ask the Adviser’ feature to get answers from me and the other advisers at Multiply.