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It’s hard enough to come to terms with the fact that your child is even old enough to buy a property
Buying a first home is an exciting and memorable moment on anyone’s journey to independence. However, that’s not to say that it is an easy process. It’s also expensive and chances are that your offspring might need the bank of mum and dad. But more than that, they will need guidance too.
Purchasing a property is time-consuming, complicated, and can be extremely overwhelming. It’s especially overwhelming if you have no prior experience of the stages and legalities involved in buying a house or flat.
As a parent, it’s natural to want to provide vital assistant to your adult children looking to buy their first home. If you have your own home, you’ll have key first-hand knowledge and advice, having been through the process yourself.
The most important thing is to give them as much information beforehand so they aren’t going into the process blind.
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Outline the process of buying a property
The process of buying a property is complicated – there is no way around that. But having an understanding of what’s involved and the order in which it needs to occur will help your child feel more organised, in control, and calm.
Go through the key steps of buying a house with them. From putting in an offer on a property, to receiving the keys on completion.
Understanding what they need to do from the moment the offer is accepted, and what the estate agent and solicitor are responsible for, will alleviate their stress.
Discuss the pros and cons of different properties
Once your child is sure that they are emotionally ready for the process of buying their first home, discuss the pros and cons of different properties.
For example, flats are usually more energy efficient than houses due to their smaller size, which means lower energy bills. However, they often come with leasehold fees including ground rent.
If your child is moving in with their partner, a house may be the perfect investment for the future.
Existing properties often have great character and could offer opportunity to refurbish. While a local development of new build homes offers security, the latest fittings and fixtures, and the chance to put their own stamp on the property.
Accompany your children to viewings
There are so many things to take into account when viewing properties. This ranges from the state of the exterior, including the roof, to the amount of light and storage space that there is inside.
Encourage your child to identify aspects that they like and dislike about the property
Accompany your children to each property, at least initially, and help them learn what to look for when viewing a house.
Point out any warning signs such as damp and faulty electrics and encourage your child to identify aspects that they like and dislike about the property. This will help to ensure that their first home is an ideal choice.
Make sure that finances are in order
Before your child makes an offer on a property, make sure that their finances are in order.
Double check their deposit amount, assist them with research into available mortgages, and help to calculate rough monthly costs to ensure that they will be able to stay in the black.
You may also be in a position to offer financial support. This is more complicated than simply transferring money to your child, and it is important that you seek legal advice before doing so.
Gifting money is a popular option, but you may prefer to make a joint purchase of the property.
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