Home & Interiors

5 tips for buying your first home

5 tips for buying your first home

Back in 2011, we bought our first home. I was so excited but I also felt pretty unprepared. I felt like I didn’t know what on earth I was doing. After everything we’ve learned, these are my 5 tips for buying your first home.


1: Be prepared to compromise

When you’re getting onto the first step of the property ladder, there’s always going to be things that you will need to compromise on. It’s all about prioritising the most important things you really don’t want to budge on and trying to be open minded about everything else.

There were so many things that we comprised on when we got our first home. Space was in seriously short supply, we were pretty unfamiliar with the area and the house needed a huge amount of work doing to it.

A lot of people would be seriously put off buying this property, and I can really see why. However, the appeal of living in a semi-detached house with a good size back garden, driveway and neighbours that seemed nice all sold the house to us.


2: Understand all of the costs involved

Don’t underestimate how much it will cost to buy your own home. Somebody once said to me years ago that buying a house is more expensive than you can ever imagine. I think she was perhaps being a little dramatic, although she was kind of right. I had no idea just how many things you have to pay for when you get your own house.

It’s such a good idea to carry out plenty of research before putting an offer in on a property. There will be solicitor’s fees, mover’s fees if you need help transporting all your possessions, insurance bills and so on. Then, when you own the house, there will be gas and electricity bills, council tax, water bills, the boiler will need fixing if it breaks, you might need walls and ceilings re-plastered and so on. The list just goes on and on, so make sure you’re prepared for all moving costs, renovating costs and ongoing bills.


3: Get organised before you move in

Our home was a fixer-upper. It was in such a bad way when we got it that we knew we had a project and a lot of work on our hands.

It takes so much time for paperwork to be dealt with, contracts to be exchanged and so on, that it can take what seems like forever to finally get the keys and be able to call a house your own.

When we were suddenly able to pick up the keys, I was completely unprepared. The house needed a huge overhaul and clean and I hadn’t bought anything I needed. This resulted in manic dashes to shops to pick up cleaning products, painting equipment and even toilet rolls!

I highly suggest making a list of all the essentials you will need as soon as you get the keys, so you don’t forget anything, and buying a supply of them in advance. This will make the first few days of owning your new home a little bit less stressful.

It’s also a really good idea to plan what food you’re going to eat for the first couple of days. It’s likely you’ll be super busy cleaning, unpacking and getting to grips with your new home to want to worry about cooking and buying food. For our first night in our new home, my Mum brought round a pizza to stick in the oven, so that we didn’t have to cook. You might want to think about arranging for a grocery delivery to be made pretty soon after you move in too, to make life easier.


4: Take your time

If there’s a lot of work that needs doing to your new home, it can be tempting to rush in and spend a lot of money trying to get it perfect ASAP.

I’ve found that over time, my tastes have changed greatly. When we first moved into our home, I wanted traditional decor. However, I’ve now moved much more towards preferring a more modern aesthetic.Β This is why sometimes it can be wise to take your time, especially if you’re planning to stay in your new home for a good few years. Paint the walls, of course that can easily be changed. However, I really would recommend doing some DIY to your existing furniture, cabinets etc while you wait to find exactly what your tastes are and how you plan for your home to look.

My parents often say they rushed a little into getting their entire home renovated and redecorated when they moved in and they wished they had taken their time a little more to get everything how they wanted it to be. Now that I have my own home, I see why they would feel that way.


5: Enjoy it!

Buying our first home was so exciting. Holding those keys in my hand for the first time and knowing that the house was ours was such an amazing feeling.

As with anything in life, going through the process of buying a house and running a household is a learning curve. There are things I wish we’d done differently and there have been issues along the way, but it’s never going to be plain sailing.

Do your research, get organised, be prepared for all the costs involved and enjoy becoming a first time buyer.


Let me know your thoughts and if you have any tips for buying your first home.


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    19th October 2017 at 16:15

    Great tips!! There are a lot factors to consider when buying a house and I need to remember all these when we do, hopefully soon since we are getting married next year and we started looking for a place to buy! πŸ™‚


    • Reply
      23rd October 2017 at 18:29

      Thank you! Big congratulations for your upcoming wedding! And best of luck finding your new home x

  • Reply
    Cora @ Tea Party Princess
    19th October 2017 at 16:49

    This is actually exactly the post I need right now!
    Fab tips πŸ™‚
    Cora ❀ http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/

    • Reply
      23rd October 2017 at 18:31

      Oh how fab – I really hope it helps lovely! x

  • Reply
    Kirby Small
    20th October 2017 at 15:32

    Such great tips Jenny! Not going to be buying for a few years but always good to know these things beforehand! Xx

  • Reply
    21st October 2017 at 15:54

    Fabulous tips Jenny! Your point about preparing ahead what to eat for the first couple of days after moving in sounds spot on -and the same could apply when travelling/on holiday as well!


    • Reply
      23rd October 2017 at 20:26

      Thank you so much Gabrielle! Yes, totally applicable to travelling too πŸ™‚ x

  • Reply
    22nd October 2017 at 05:15

    Great tips! Not going to be buying for a few years but always good to start thinking about these things!

    • Reply
      23rd October 2017 at 20:32

      Thank you! Yes definitely a good idea to be prepared πŸ™‚ x

  • Reply
    22nd October 2017 at 18:10

    This is such a helpful post. I’m in the process of buying a house and it’s going to be a fixer upper! We’re going to need to strip everything back and start again so at the moment we’re desperately trying to save as much money as possible πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      23rd October 2017 at 20:36

      I’m so glad you think it’s helpful πŸ™‚ Best of luck with your house purchase! I love that you can make a fixer upper totally your own x

  • Reply
    24th October 2017 at 19:47

    It’ll definitely be a fair few years before I step on to the housing market – I won’t have finished my PhD until I’m around 26! It doesn’t seem like it’s ever too early to start saving though, given the masses of expenses you’ve mentioned here, so it’s another good reason for me to keep putting cash into my savings account! Thank you for an immensely helpful post!

    Abbey ? http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

    • Reply
      26th October 2017 at 18:34

      I totally agree with you Abbey – it’s never too early to start saving. Thanks so much lovely! x

  • Reply
    28th February 2018 at 17:39

    This was a fantastic post! Thank you for sharing these tips. I’m a long way off from purchasing my home but I still love reading all about people who have already made it there. I just opened my Help To Buy account and can’t wait for the day that I can publish posts like this!
    Best Wishes
    – Amy x

    • Reply
      2nd March 2018 at 11:18

      Thanks so much Amy! Best of luck with saving for your first house – the Help to Buy account is such a great way to save for it x

Leave a Reply