Eleven lessons learned when buying my first house

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They say buying a house is one of the most stressful things a person can do, especially when you're new to the market. Wouldn't it be helpful to hear from those who've been through the process already? We asked the people of Twitter for the biggest lessons they learned when buying their first home. Here's what they told us:

  • "Take your time during the viewing, and go back on your own. I bought a flat after one 10-minute viewing where I failed to spot the floors were sloped to one side, and the flat had been converted without soundproofing!" – @sarahecoles.
  • "Check all the little things. Do all the windows and doors open? How old are the electrics? Is there damp along the outside wall? Make a list and ask all the questions." – @scrambledpegg.
  • "You can't trust a surveyor, so don't be afraid to look behind furniture at a viewing and see if it's being used to hide damp patches, cracks, or dodgy decorating." – @TabbyForTea.
  • "Unless you're sure you'll be there for a long time and are happy with untidy living, don't buy a fixer-upper." @scrambledpegg.


READ MORE: A very simple glossary of mortgage terms

  • "The timelines are very broad. And no one cares if you are in a rush, delays happen regardless. Get a good broker to help you get sorted with bank stuff." – @Pattieios.
  • "You should always re-read the paperwork! Our conveyancing firm tried to add a charge for paperwork we'd done ourselves. There were a few things that changed between us reading through something and then being asked to sign (near-identical-but-different) copies." – @TabbyForTea.
  • "Clueless as I was: what stamp duty is. It came as a surprise partway through. I can’t believe they don’t teach this in schools!" – @Alissa_Comms. Stamp Duty is a tax on written documents that transfer ownership of property (or agreements to transfer ownership in future). The amount is determined by the type of property in question and is typically paid by the person on the receiving end.


READ MORE: Buyer beware: red flags to look out for when househunting

  • "We had this advice from my brother-in-law (and took it) - borrow as much as you can to buy your first home when you're a DINKY (double income, no kids yet). It's the most disposable income you'll have until they leave home." – @HRoweMktgPR.
  • "Factor in that you'll likely be waiting a few months before you can move into your home. Wait to hand in your notice to your landlord and put contingency money aside for any little issues that need sorting first." – @libbymchugh.
  • "If not buying new and there are items promised to be left by the seller, make sure they are actually there before you do the final handover. We were promised some items of furniture that ended up not being in the house. Got them back though!" – @GennaSherlock.
  • "The day you're meant to get the keys, will not be the day you get the keys." – @iAmanda91.

For even more help with purchasing your first home, Ulster Bank has launched the new First Five Mortgage. It’s got five great benefits for First Time Buyers - including Ireland’s lowest two year fixed rate*. For more information on Ulster Bank’s First Five Mortgage, check out ulsterbank.ie/firstfive.

READ MORE: Top tips to know before applying for your first mortgage


*Lowest rate claim source Bonkers.ie 29/06/2018. Maximum loan to value is 90%.Security and insurance required. Product fees may apply. Over 18s only and properties in the Republic of Ireland only. Lending criteria, terms and conditions apply. Credit facilities subject to repayment capacity and financial status. Loan to income criteria applies.



Ulster Bank Ireland DAC is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.





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